from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To plunge briefly into a liquid, as in order to wet, coat, or saturate.
  • transitive v. To color or dye by immersing: dip Easter eggs.
  • transitive v. To immerse (a sheep or other animal) in a disinfectant solution.
  • transitive v. To form (a candle) by repeatedly immersing a wick in melted wax or tallow.
  • transitive v. To galvanize or plate (metal) by immersion.
  • transitive v. To scoop up by plunging the hand or a receptacle below the surface, as of a liquid; ladle: dip water out of a bucket.
  • transitive v. To lower and raise (a flag) in salute.
  • transitive v. To lower or drop (something) suddenly: dipped my head to avoid the branch.
  • transitive v. Slang To pick the pockets of.
  • intransitive v. To plunge into water or other liquid and come out quickly.
  • intransitive v. To plunge the hand or a receptacle into liquid or a container, especially so as to take something up or out: I dipped into my pocket for some coins.
  • intransitive v. To withdraw a small amount from a fund: We dipped into our savings.
  • intransitive v. To drop down or sink out of sight suddenly: The sun dipped below the horizon.
  • intransitive v. To drop suddenly before climbing. Used of an aircraft.
  • intransitive v. To slope downward; decline: The road dipped.
  • intransitive v. To decline slightly and usually temporarily: Sales dipped after Christmas.
  • intransitive v. Geology To lie at an angle to the horizontal plane, as a rock stratum or vein.
  • intransitive v. To read here and there at random; browse: dipping into Chaucer.
  • intransitive v. To investigate a subject superficially; dabble: dipped into psychology.
  • intransitive v. Slang To steal by picking pockets.
  • n. A brief plunge or immersion, especially a quick swim.
  • n. A liquid into which something is dipped, as for dyeing or disinfecting.
  • n. A savory creamy mixture into which crackers, raw vegetables, or other foods may be dipped.
  • n. An amount taken up by dipping.
  • n. A container for dipping.
  • n. A candle made by repeated dipping in tallow or wax.
  • n. A downward slope; a decline.
  • n. A sharp downward course; a drop: a dip in prices.
  • n. Geology The downward inclination of a rock stratum or vein in reference to the plane of the horizon.
  • n. Linguistics A part of a phrase or sentence that is unstressed or less strongly stressed relative to surrounding words, as the words I and to in I have to go.
  • n. Poetry The unstressed portion of a metrical foot.
  • n. Magnetic dip.
  • n. A hollow or depression.
  • n. Sports A gymnastic exercise on the parallel bars in which the body is lowered by bending the elbows until the chin reaches the level of the bars and then is raised by straightening the arms.
  • n. Slang A pickpocket.
  • n. Slang A foolish or stupid person.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A lower section of a road or geological feature.
  • n. A tank or trough where cattle or sheep are immersed in chemicals to kill parasites.
  • n. A dip stick.
  • n. A swim. (Usually a short swim to refresh).
  • n. A pickpocket.
  • n. A sauce for dipping.
  • n. The angle from horizontal of a planar geologic surface, such as a fault line.
  • v. To lower into a liquid.
  • v. (of a value or rate) To decrease slightly.
  • v. To lower a light's beam.
  • v. To lower (a flag), particularly a national ensign, to a partially hoisted position in order to render or to return a salute. While lowered, the flag is said to be “at the dip.” A flag being carried on a staff may be dipped by leaning it forward at an approximate angle of 45 degrees.
  • v. To treat cattle or sheep by immersion in chemical solution.
  • v. To use a dip stick to check oil level in an engine.
  • v. To consume snuff by placing a pinch behind the lip or under the tongue so that the active chemical constituents of the snuff may be absorbed into the system for their narcotic effect.
  • n. A foolish person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj.
  • n. The action of dipping or plunging for a moment into a liquid.
  • n. Inclination downward; direction below a horizontal line; slope; pitch.
  • n. a hollow or depression in a surface, especially in the ground.
  • n. A liquid, as a sauce or gravy, served at table with a ladle or spoon.
  • n. A dipped candle.
  • n. A gymnastic exercise on the parallel bars in which the performer, resting on his hands, lets his arms bend and his body sink until his chin is level with the bars, and then raises himself by straightening his arms.
  • n. In the turpentine industry, the viscid exudation, which is dipped out from incisions in the trees.
  • n. A sudden drop followed by a climb, usually to avoid obstacles or as the result of getting into an airhole.
  • n. a liquid, in which objects are soaked by dipping; e.g., a parasiticide or insecticide solution into which animals are dipped (see sheep-dip).
  • n. a sauce into which foods are dipped to enhance the flavor; e. g., an onion dip made from sour cream and dried onions, into which potato chips are dipped.
  • n. a pickpocket.
  • intransitive v. To immerse one's self; to become plunged in a liquid; to sink.
  • intransitive v. To perform the action of plunging some receptacle, as a dipper, ladle. etc.; into a liquid or a soft substance and removing a part.
  • intransitive v. To pierce; to penetrate; -- followed by in or into.
  • intransitive v. To enter slightly or cursorily; to engage one's self desultorily or by the way; to partake limitedly; -- followed by in or into.
  • intransitive v. To incline downward from the plane of the horizon.
  • intransitive v. To dip snuff.
  • transitive v. To plunge or immerse; especially, to put for a moment into a liquid; to insert into a fluid and withdraw again.
  • transitive v. To immerse for baptism; to baptize by immersion.
  • transitive v. To wet, as if by immersing; to moisten.
  • transitive v. To plunge or engage thoroughly in any affair.
  • transitive v. To take out, by dipping a dipper, ladle, or other receptacle, into a fluid and removing a part; -- often with out
  • transitive v. To engage as a pledge; to mortgage.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To plunge or immerse temporarily in water or other liquid, or into something containing it; lower into and then raise from water or other liquid: as, to dip a person in baptism; to dip a boat's oars; to dip one's hands into water.
  • To lower and raise as if in temporary immersion; hence, to perform by a downward and an upward movement: as, to dip a flag in salutation; the falcon dipped his wings for flight; to dip a courtesy.
  • To raise or take up by a dipping action; lift by bailing or scooping: as, to dip water out of a boat; to dip out soup with a ladle; to dip up sand with a bucket.
  • To immerse or submerge partly; plunge or sink to some extent into water; hence, to plunge, as a person, into anything that involves activity or effort, as difficulties or entanglements; engage; entangle.
  • To engage as a pledge: generally used for the first mortgage.
  • To plunge into; begin to sink into or be immersed in.
  • To affect as if by immersion; moisten; wet.
  • To plunge into water or other liquid and quickly emerge.
  • To plunge one's finger or hand, or a dipper, ladle, or the like, into anything; make a transitory plunge or entrance; hence, to engage or interest one's self temporarily or to a slight extent: with in or into: as, to dip into speculation.
  • To incline downward; sink, as if below the horizon: as, the magnetic needle dips: specifically, in geology, said of strata which are not horizontal.
  • To submerge (an animal, as sheep, except the head) in a warm decoction of sulphur, tobacco, or the like, for the destruction of injurious parasites and germs of skin-diseases.
  • In the manufacture of turpentine, to gather resin from boxes or cups.
  • n. The act of dipping; immersion for a short time in water or other liquid; a plunge; a bath: as, the dip of the oars; a dip in the sea.
  • n. That which is dipped; specifically, a candle made by dipping a wick repeatedly in melted tallow.
  • n. The act of dipping up, as with a ladle or dipper: as, to take a dip from the bowl.
  • n. Inclination downward; a sloping; a direction below a horizontal line; depression.
  • n. Specifically— In geology, the angle which a stratum of rock makes with a horizontal plane. The dip is the complement of the hade or underlay. See these words.
  • n. In mining: A heading driven to the dip in mines in which the beds of coal have a steep inclination. Also called dip-head. Rarely, a heading driven to the rise.
  • n. In telegraphy, the distance from a point in a wire midway between two adjacent supports to the middle point of a straight line joining the points on these supports to which the wire is attached
  • n. A correction to be applied to the altitude of heavenly bodies observed at sea, varying according to the height of the observer's eye.
  • n. Any liquid into which something is to be dipped.
  • n. Specifically— Drawn butter, or milk thickened with flour, served with toast.
  • n. A sauce served with puddings.
  • n. A pickpocket.
  • n. In ceramics, a preparation of colored slip for decorating pottery. See dip-ware.
  • n. A small dumpling made of batter dropped into boiling water a spoonful at a time and boiled for about five minutes. Usually in the plural.
  • n. Vertical distance below a given level.
  • n. A depression or sink on the surface of the earth.
  • n. Crude turpentine.
  • n. Among stock-breeders, ‘tinge’ or ‘touch,’ that is, a slight strain, of another breed or variety.
  • n. The depth to which anything is submerged, as a floating vessel, the floats or buckets of a paddle-wheel, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. place (candle wicks) into hot, liquid wax
  • n. a brief swim in water
  • v. appear to move downward
  • v. slope downwards
  • v. dip into a liquid
  • n. a depression in an otherwise level surface
  • v. plunge (one's hand or a receptacle) into a container
  • n. a gymnastic exercise on the parallel bars in which the body is lowered and raised by bending and straightening the arms
  • n. (physics) the angle that a magnetic needle makes with the plane of the horizon
  • v. dip into a liquid while eating
  • v. scoop up by plunging one's hand or a ladle below the surface
  • v. stain an object by immersing it in a liquid
  • v. immerse in a disinfectant solution
  • v. take a small amount from
  • v. immerse briefly into a liquid so as to wet, coat, or saturate
  • n. a candle that is made by repeated dipping in a pool of wax or tallow
  • n. tasty mixture or liquid into which bite-sized foods are dipped
  • n. a thief who steals from the pockets or purses of others in public places
  • v. lower briefly
  • n. a brief immersion
  • v. switch (a car's headlights) from a higher to a lower beam
  • v. go down momentarily
  • n. a sudden sharp decrease in some quantity


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English dippen, from Old English dyppan; see dheub- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English dyppan. Compare Dutch dopen, German taufen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Back-formation from dippy.


  • Thank you very much; "and the water went on saying" _Gather gather, all right, dip dip_. "

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  • Brzezinski actually made a similar slip of her own earlier this year, fumbling with the word "dip."

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  • O'Byrne says that an increase in risk appetite once a debt deal is done in the U.S. might weigh on prices but that this would be a short term dip.

  • So it eats, and eats, more in some places and less in others, according as the stone is harder or softer, and according to the different direction of the rock-beds (what we call their dip and strike); till at last it makes one of those wonderful caverns about which you are so fond of reading -- such a cave as there actually is in the rocks of the mountain of Whernside, fed by the swallow-holes around the mountain-top;

    Madam How and Lady Why

  • A short-term dip presents an opportunity to grant stock options at an undervalued price.

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  • But whether it's a short term dip or a long-term trend depends on the next six months.

    CNN Transcript Jun 14, 2006

  • History suggests that May 2012 will coincide with a mid-term dip in the government's popularity and, no matter how cleverly you follow mayoral tradition by distancing yourself from your own party's exercise of national power, that dip is going to damage you.

    Politics news, UK and world political comment and analysis |

  • Analysts said sovereign debt issues, disappointing economic data or weaker-than-expected earnings from U.S. companies could be the triggers for a short-term dip in the market.

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  • Taiwan's increase "suggests that many policy makers in the region are looking beyond a possible short-term dip in growth and are taking a proactive approach." --

  • "In spite of a short-term dip in demand due to the global financial crisis, global demand for LNG is expected to remain strong in the medium to long term," Qatar Shell vice president Wael Sawan (pictured) told the Chatham House in London.

    The Oil Drum - Discussions about Energy and Our Future


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  • You dip!

    (That's not slang for anything, I'm just literally calling you a savory creamy mixture into which crackers, raw vegetables, or other foods may be dipped.)

    March 5, 2018