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plumb

verb, adjective, adverb, noun

Definition: (v.) 1. to measure the depth of something; 2. to fully understand something; 3. to experience something to the fullest; 4. to make something vertical; (adj.) 1. completely vertical; 2. complete and total; (adv.) 1. in a vertical line; 2. exactly; 3. completely; (n.) a small weight tied to a line for measurement of water depth or vertical alignment

Synonyms: (v.) measure, gauge, examine, probe, fathom, explore, sound, (adj.) vertical, perpendicular, total, complete, full, deep, utter, absolute, (adv.) vertically, exactly, directly, fully, completely, (n.) weight, sinker

Antonyms: (adj.) horizontal, imprecise, inexact, incomplete, (adv.) horizontally, indirectly

Tips: Although the word plumb can also be used as a noun and an adjective, for purposes of the GRE and SAT exams it's most important to remember the verb meaning of "to measure the depth of something." This can be both a figurative and literal meaning, because you might plumb (physically measure the depth of) a pool, or you may plumb (measure the depth of) a decision in order to understand it more fully. Plumb can also refer to the installation of plumbing by a plumber. As an adjective and adverb, the word plumb means "vertical" or in an informal sense, used as an intensifier, "total and complete." As a noun, plumb denotes the vertical alignment of something or to a lead weight attached to the end of a line, used to measure depth.

Usage Examples:

They plumbed the uncharted ocean floor near the islands to make sure it was deep enough for the ship to pass. (fathomed, explored, sounded) verb

When hanging a door, you need to make sure that it is both level and plumb or it will not shut completely. (vertically aligned, perpendicular) adjective

I have to plumb the depths of my patience each time I hear her annoying voice. (probe, explore) verb

I'm so sorry; I plumb forgot to attend your baby shower. (completely, fully) adverb


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