(dived or dove; dived; also dove; diving)
Etymology: Middle English diven, duven, from Old English dȳfan to dip & dūfan to dive; akin to Old English dyppan to dip — more at dip
Date: before 12th century
a. to plunge into water intentionally and especially headfirst; also to execute a dive
b. submerge <the submarine dived> 2. a. to come or drop down precipitously ; plunge <the temperature is diving> b. to plunge one's hand into something c. of an airplane to descend in a dive 3. a. to plunge into some matter or activity <she dove into her studies> b. to plunge or dash for some place <diving for cover>; also to lunge especially in order to seize something <dove for the ball> transitive verb 1. to thrust into something 2. to cause to dive <dive a submarine> Usage: Dive, which was originally a weak verb, developed a past tense dove, probably by analogy with verbs like drive, drove. Dove exists in some British dialects and has become the standard past tense especially in speech in some parts of Canada. In the United States dived and dove are both widespread in speech as past tense and past participle, with dove less common than dived in the south Midland area, and dived less common than dove in the Northern and north Midland areas. In writing, the past tense dived is usual in British English and somewhat more common in American English. Dove seems relatively rare as a past participle in writing. II. noun Date: 1700 1. the act or an instance of diving: as a. (1) a plunge into water executed in a prescribed manner (2) a submerging of a submarine (3) a steep descent of an airplane at greater than the maximum horizontal speed b. a sharp decline 2. a shabby and disreputable establishment (as a bar or nightclub) 3. a faked knockout — usually used in the phrase take a dive 4. an offensive play in football in which the ballcarrier plunges into the line for short yardage
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.