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plunge (v.)

late 14c., plungen, "to put, throw, or thrust violently into; immerse, submerge," also intransitive, from Old French plongier "plunge, sink into; plunge into, dive in" (mid-12c., Modern French plonger), from Vulgar Latin *plumbicare "to heave the lead," from Latin plumbum "lead" (see plumb (n.)). Original notion perhaps is of a sounding lead or a fishing net weighted with lead. Figurative sense of "cast into some state or condition" (despair, etc.) is from late 14c. Related: Plunged; plunging. Plunging neckline in women's fashion is attested from 1949.

plunge (n.)

c. 1400, "a deep pool," from plunge (v.). From late 15c. as "a sudden pitch forward;" meaning "act of plunging, a sudden immersion in something" is from 1711. Figurative use in take the plunge "commit oneself" is by 1848, from earlier noun sense of "point of being in trouble or danger, immersion in difficulty or distress" (1530s).

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Definitions of plunge from WordNet
1
plunge (v.)
thrust or throw into;
Synonyms: immerse
plunge (v.)
drop steeply;
the stock market plunged
Synonyms: dive / plunk
plunge (v.)
dash violently or with great speed or impetuosity;
She plunged at it eagerly
plunge (v.)
begin with vigor;
She plunged into a dangerous adventure
Synonyms: launch
plunge (v.)
cause to be immersed;
The professor plunged his students into the study of the Italian text
Synonyms: immerse
plunge (v.)
fall abruptly;
It plunged to the bottom of the well
Synonyms: dump
plunge (v.)
immerse briefly into a liquid so as to wet, coat, or saturate;
Synonyms: dunk / dip / souse / douse
plunge (v.)
devote (oneself) fully to;
Synonyms: steep / immerse / engulf / engross / absorb / soak up
2
plunge (n.)
a brief swim in water;
Synonyms: dip
plunge (n.)
a steep and rapid fall;
From wordnet.princeton.edu