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[dahyv] /daɪv/
verb (used without object), dived or dove, dived, diving.
to plunge into water, especially headfirst.
to go below the surface of the water, as a submarine.
to plunge, fall, or descend through the air, into the earth, etc.:
The acrobats dived into nets.
Aeronautics. (of an airplane) to descend rapidly.
to penetrate suddenly into something, as with the hand:
to dive into one's purse.
to dart:
to dive into a doorway.
to enter deeply or plunge into a subject, activity, etc.
verb (used with object), dived or dove, dived, diving.
to cause to plunge, submerge, or descend.
to insert quickly; plunge:
He dived his hand into his pocket.
an act or instance of diving.
a jump or plunge into water, especially in a prescribed way from a diving board.
the vertical or nearly vertical descent of an airplane at a speed surpassing the possible speed of the same plane in level flight.
a submerging, as of a submarine or skindiver.
a dash, plunge, or lunge, as if throwing oneself at or into something:
He made a dive for the football.
a sudden or sharp decline, as in stock prices.
Informal. a dingy or disreputable bar or nightclub.
Boxing. a false show of being knocked out, usually in a bout whose result has been prearranged:
to take a dive in an early round.
Origin of dive
before 900; Middle English diven to dive, dip, Old English dȳfan to dip (causative of dūfan to dive, sink); cognate with Old Norse dȳfa dip, German taufen to baptize; akin to dip
Related forms
postdive, adjective
predive, adjective
underdive, noun
underdive, verb (used without object), underdived or underdove, underdived, underdiving.
Usage note
Both dived and dove are standard as the past tense of dive. Dived, historically the older form, is somewhat more common in edited writing, but dove occurs there so frequently that it also must be considered standard: The rescuer dove into 20 feet of icy water. Dove is an Americanism that probably developed by analogy with alternations like drive, drove and ride, rode. It is the more common form in speech in the northern United States and in Canada, and its use seems to be spreading. The past participle of dive is always dived.


[dee-vuh, -vah] /ˈdi və, -vɑ/
noun, plural divas, dive
[dee-ve] /ˈdi vɛ/ (Show IPA)
a distinguished female singer; prima donna.
1880-85; < Italian < Latin dīva, feminine of dīvus god; cf. divine Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dive
  • The finding solved the mystery of how they manage to stay underwater as long and dive as deeply as they do.
  • It allows me to dive into my talk with a minimum of fuss.
  • Believe me, the first thing people do when faced with the angry end of a firearm is dive for any nearby shelter.
  • My prose did improve, although its veracity took a dive in this period.
  • The dive site is best for experienced divers as strong currents and deep water drop-offs exist in the dive locations.
  • The coastal waters of this state hide several shipwrecks within both basic and advanced recreational dive limits.
  • The dive must be booked in advance, and all divers must be accompanied by an authorized dive master.
  • dive travel books include dive site descriptions, advice and detailed maps.
  • Trying to set records for deepest dive on one breath.
  • My penchant for skywriting has taken quite a dive since this incident.
British Dictionary definitions for dive


verb (mainly intransitive) dives, diving, dived (US) dove, dived
to plunge headfirst into water
(of a submarine, swimmer, etc) to submerge under water
(also transitive) to fly (an aircraft) in a steep nose-down descending path, or (of an aircraft) to fly in such a path
to rush, go, or reach quickly, as in a headlong plunge: he dived for the ball
(also transitive; foll by in or into) to dip or put (one's hand) quickly or forcefully (into): to dive into one's pocket
usually foll by in or into. to involve oneself (in something), as in eating food
(soccer, slang) (of a footballer) to pretend to have been tripped or impeded by an opposing player in order to win a free kick or penalty
a headlong plunge into water, esp one of several formalized movements executed as a sport
an act or instance of diving
a steep nose-down descent of an aircraft
(slang) a disreputable or seedy bar or club
(boxing, slang) the act of a boxer pretending to be knocked down or out: he took a dive in the fourth round
(soccer, slang) the act of a player pretending to have been tripped or impeded
Word Origin
Old English dӯfan; related to Old Norse dӯfa to dip, Frisian dīvi; see deep, dip


noun (pl) -vas, -ve (-vɪ)
a highly distinguished female singer; prima donna
Word Origin
C19: via Italian from Latin: a goddess, from dīvusdivine
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dive

13c., from Old English dufan "to dive, duck, sink" (intransitive, class II strong verb; past tense deaf, past participle dofen) and dyfan "to dip, submerge" (weak, transitive), from Proto-Germanic *dubijanan, from PIE *dheub- (see deep). Past tense dove is a later formation, perhaps on analogy of drive/drove. Related: Diving. Dive bomber attested by 1939.


c.1700, from dive (v.). Sense of "disreputable bar" is first recorded American English 1871, perhaps because they were usually in basements, and going into one was both a literal and figurative "diving."



"distinguished woman singer, prima donna," 1883, from Italian diva "goddess, fine lady," from Latin diva "goddess," fem. of divus "divine (one);" see divine (adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dive


  1. A vulgar and disreputable haunt, such as a cheap bar, nightclub, lodging house, or dancehall; crib: the girl who danced in a dive in New Orleans (1871+)
  2. speakeasy (1920s+)
  3. A knockdown or knockout, esp a false prearranged knockout: A dive is a phantom knockout (1940s+ Prizefight)

: They fixed it so that he'd dive in the fourth

Related Terms

nose dive, take a dive

[origin of first sense uncertain; perhaps fr the notion that one could dive into a disreputable cellar haunt (called a diving bell in an 1883 glossary) and lose oneself among lowlifes and criminals; perhaps a shortening of divan, ''a smoking and gaming room,'' a usage popular in London in the mid-and late 19th century; the places were so called because they were furnished with divans, ''lounges,'' the name ultimately fr Turkish]



A male transvestite; esp, a homosexual cross-dresser; drag queen: Salt-N-Pepa's divas are checking out designer creations

[1990s+; fr Italian, ''goddess, lady love,'' used by the 1880s to designate a distinguished woman singer]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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