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From Old English plommet ‎(ball of lead", "plumb of a bob-line), recorded since 1382, from Old French plommet or plomet, the diminutive of plom, plum ‎(lead", "sounding lead), from Latin plumbum ‎(lead). The verb is first recorded in 1626, originally meaning "to fathom, take soundings", from the noun.



plummet ‎(plural plummets)

  1. (archaic) A piece of lead attached to a line, used in sounding the depth of water.
  2. (archaic) A plumb bob or a plumb line.
  3. (archaic) Hence, any weight.
    • 1945, Ernie Pyle, Here is Your War: Story of G.I. Joe, The World Publishing Company (1945), page #93:
      His parachute was shot half away, and if he'd jumped he would have fallen like a plummet.
  4. (archaic) A piece of lead formerly used by school children to rule paper for writing
  5. a plummet line, a line with a plummet; a sounding line.
  6. Violent or dramatic fall
  7. (figuratively) decline; fall; drop
    • 2010 December 29, Chris Whyatt, “Chelsea 1 - 0 Bolton”, BBC:
      Yet another seriously under-par performance is unlikely to provide any real answers to their remarkable plummet in form - but it proves they can at least churn out a much-needed result.



plummet ‎(third-person singular simple present plummets, present participle plummeting or plummetting, simple past and past participle plummeted or plummetted)

  1. (intransitive) To drop swiftly, in a direct manner; to fall quickly.
    After its ascent, the arrow plummeted to earth.




See also[edit]


  • plummet” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).