Meaning of “dive” in the English Dictionary

"dive" in British English

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uk /daɪv/ us /daɪv/ past tense dived or US also dove, past participle dived

dive verb (IN WATER)

B1 to jump into water, especially with your head and arms going in first, or to move down under the water:

Look at those children diving for oysters over there!
They ran to the pool, dived in, and swam to the other side.
Mark dove off the bridge into the river.
The submarine dived just in time to avoid the enemy attack.
See also

More examples

  • As she dived into the pool, the water felt deliciously cool on her skin.
  • We were so hot we flung off our clothes and dived into the swimming pool.
  • She dived headfirst into the pool.
  • She dived into the still water of the lake.
  • I dived off the top board today, Dad.

dive verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

[ I ] to go down very quickly:

The plane dived towards the ground and exploded in a ball of flame.
The goalkeeper dived for the ball (= tried to catch the ball by jumping towards it and falling on the ground).

[ I usually + adv/prep ] to move quickly, often in order to avoid something:

They dived for cover when they heard the shooting start.

[ I ] in football, to fall down deliberately without another player causing you to fall, in order to try to win a penalty or a free kick unfairly:

Referees should be booking players when they dive.

Phrasal verb(s)


uk /daɪv/ us /daɪv/

dive noun (QUICK MOVEMENT)

[ C ] a movement down onto the ground:

The goalkeeper made a valiant dive for the ball, but he couldn't quite get his hands on it.
The plane went into a dive.

[ C ] in football, the action of falling down deliberately without another player causing you to do so, in order to try to win a penalty or free kick unfairly

[ C ] a sudden quick movement:

He made a dive for the door.

(Definition of “dive” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"dive" in American English

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us /dɑɪv/ past tense dived or dove /doʊv/ , past participle dived

dive verb (MOVE DOWN)

[ I ] to jump head first into water, esp. with your arms held straight above your head, or to move down quickly through water or the air:

Mark dove off the cliff into the ocean.
Dolphins can dive to great depths.

dive verb (MOVE QUICKLY)

[ I always + adv/prep ] to jump or move quickly into or at something:

When the football came loose, he dove at the ball and grabbed it.
They dived for cover when it suddenly began to rain.


us /dɑɪv/

dive noun (PLACE)

dive noun (FALL)

[ C ] a sudden, large fall in amount or value:

The firm’s profits took a dive last quarter.

dive noun (QUICK MOVE)

[ U ] a quick move or jump into or at something:

White’s 1-yard dive with seconds left won the football game.

(Definition of “dive” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"dive" in Business English

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diveverb [ I ]

uk /daɪv/ us dived, US also dove, dived

to suddenly become less valuable:

Shares prices dived / 3.5% today to a three-month closing low.
Pre-tax profits dove almost 60% to $105m against $245m in the same period last year.

divenoun [ C, usually singular ]

uk /daɪv/ us

a sudden loss of value or success:

The bond market traded nervously as many shares on Wall Street took a dive and oil prices soared.

(Definition of “dive” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)