American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A weight on the end of a line, used to determine water depth.
- n. A weight on the end of a line, used especially by masons and carpenters to establish a true vertical.
- adv. In a vertical or perpendicular line.
- adv. Informal Directly; squarely: fell plumb in the middle of the puddle.
- adv. Informal Utterly; completely: plumb worn out. See Note at right.
- adj. Exactly vertical. See Synonyms at vertical.
- adj. Informal Utter; absolute; sheer: a plumb fool.
- v. To determine the depth of with a plumb; sound.
- v. To test the verticality or alignment of with a plumb.
- v. To straighten or make perpendicular: plumb up the wall.
- v. To examine closely or deeply; probe: "Shallow ideas are plumbed and discarded” ( Gilbert Highet).
- v. To seal with lead.
- v. To work as a plumber.
- idiom. out of Not vertical.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- An obsolete spelling of plum.
- n. A mass of lead attached to a line, used to test the perpendicularity of walls, etc.; a plummet.
- n. The position of a plumb or plummet when freely suspended; the vertical or perpendicular.
- True according to a plumb-line; vertical.
- Of persons, upright in character or conduct; thoroughgoing.
- In a vertical direction; in a line perpendicular to the plane of the horizon; straight down.
- Exactly; to a nicety; completely: as, he hit the target plumb in the bull's-eye.
- Downright; entirely; altogether.
- To adjust by a plumb-line; set in a vertical position: as, to plumb a wall or a building.
- To sound with or as with a plummet, as the depth of water.
- To ascertain the measure, dimensions, capacity, or the like, of; test.
- To supply, as a building, with lead pipes for water, sewage, etc.
- In plumbing, to seal an opening by closing it with solder or other soft metal.
- To coincide in direction with the plumb-line; be vertically above or below.
- adj. truly vertical
- adj. cricket Describing an LBW where the batsman is hit on the pads directly in front of his wicket and should be given out.
- adv. In a vertical direction.
- adv. informal Squarely, directly; completely.
- n. A little mass of lead, or the like, attached to a line, and used by builders, etc., to indicate a vertical direction.
- n. nautical A weight on the end of a long line, used by sailors to determine the depth of water.
- v. To determine the depth, generally of a liquid; to sound.
- v. To attach to a water supply and drain.
- v. To think about or explore in depth, to get to the bottom of, especially to plumb the depths of.
- v. To use a plumb bob as a measuring or aligning tool.
- v. To accurately align vertically or horizontally.
- v. dated To seal something with lead.
- v. intransitive To work as a plumber.
- v. rare To fall or sink like a plummet.
- v. US, colloquial, figuratively, obsolete To trace a road or track; to follow it to its end.
- v. nautical To position vertically above or below.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A little mass or weight of lead, or the like, attached to a line, and used by builders, etc., to indicate a vertical direction; a plummet; a plumb bob. See Plumb line, below.
- adj. Perpendicular; vertical; conforming the direction of a line attached to a plumb.
- adv. In a plumb direction; perpendicularly.
- v. To adjust by a plumb line; to cause to be perpendicular.
- v. To sound with a plumb or plummet, as the depth of water; hence, to examine by test; to ascertain the depth, quality, dimension, etc.; to sound; to fathom; to test.
- v. To seal with lead.
- v. To supply, as a building, with a system of plumbing.
- v. weight with lead
- adv. exactly.
- v. measure the depth of something
- adv. conforming to the direction of a plumb line
- adj. exactly vertical
- v. examine thoroughly and in great depth
- n. the metal bob of a plumb line
- adv. completely; used as intensifiers
- v. adjust with a plumb line so as to make vertical
- From Old French *plombe, from Latin plumba (plural of plumbum). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, lead, a plumb, from Old French plomb, from Latin plumbum, lead. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“His own dexterity in catching the phrase plumb in the middle gave him a thrill of excitement.”
“Silently, but with unerring certainty, something small, round, and deadly, fell plumb from the library ceiling to where the settle had formerly stood against the hearthstone.”
“The dirt airstrip cut into a grove of black cottonwoods was adequate without being what you could call plumb level or arrow straight.”
“References: la poubelle (f) = garbage can; plum (just in case, and for the French readers on this list, "plum" is English and the informal of "plumb" -- nothing to do with the juicy fruit) = completely; la clé (f) = key; le clavier (m) = keyboard”
“LOHO: Meaning the plumb is the vertical, perfect 90 degrees, and level is the horizontal.”
“Thus we say that the plumb is a symbol of rectitude of conduct.”
“The plumb is a symbol of rectitude of conduct, and inculcates that integrity of life and undeviating course of moral uprightness which can alone distinguish the good and just man.”
“Small Creek on the L.S. called plumb Creek at abt.”
“Among their fruits are many kinds of plumbs; one like a _wheaten_ plumb is wholesome and savoury; likewise a black one, as large as a horse plumb, which is much esteemed, and has an aromatic flavour.”
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