October 25, 2013
- plummet (verb)
- What does it mean?
- : to fall straight down : plunge
- How do you use it?
- "Then she looked back, for at that moment a black object plummeted from the sky, and she recognized her friend Jeremy the crow." (Robert C. O'Brien, _Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH_)
- Are you a word wiz?
"Plummet" has a few English cousins. Which answer below contains some of them?"Plummet," "plumber," and "plumb" (and "plunge," for that matter) all trace back to the Latin word "plumbum," referring to the metal lead. Since lead is heavy, it was used in the past as a weight at the end of a long string to form a straight line for builders. The name for this tool is a "plumb" or a "plumb line," and the name was taken from the Latin word "plumbum." Since a plumb falls straight down, "plumbum" also gave rise to "plummet" and "plunge," both meaning "to fall straight down." The word "plumber" also goes back to "plumbum," since "plumber" originally referred to a person who worked with lead.