verb (used with object), dipped or (Archaic) dipt; dip·ping.
- to plunge (something, as a cloth or sponge) temporarily into a liquid, so as to moisten it, dye it, or cause it to take up some of the liquid: He dipped the brush into the paint bucket.
- to raise or take up by a bailing, scooping, or ladling action: to dip water out of a boat; to dip ice cream from a container.
- to lower and raise: to dip a flag in salutation.
- to immerse (a sheep, hog, etc.) in a solution to destroy germs, parasites, or the like.
- to make (a candle) by repeatedly plunging a wick into melted tallow or wax.
- Nautical. to lower and rehoist (a yard of a lugsail) when coming about in tacking.
- Archaic. to baptize by immersion.
- Obsolete. to moisten or wet as if by immersion.
verb (used without object), dipped or (Archaic) dipt; dip·ping.
- to plunge into water or other liquid and emerge quickly: The boat dipped into the waves.
- to put the hand, a dipper, etc., down into a liquid or a container, especially in order to remove something (often followed by in or into): He dipped into the jar for an olive.
- to withdraw something, especially in small amounts (usually followed by in or into): to dip into savings.
- to sink or drop down: The sun dipped below the horizon.
- to incline or slope downward: At that point the road dips into a valley.
- to decrease slightly or temporarily: Stock-market prices often dip on Fridays.
- to engage slightly in a subject (often followed by in or into): to dip into astronomy.
- to read here and there in a book, subject, or author’s work (often followed by in or into): to dip into Plato.
- South Midland and Southern U.S. to take snuff.
- the act of dipping.
- that which is taken up by dipping.
- a quantity taken up by dipping; the amount that a scoop, ladle, dipper, etc., will hold.
- a scoop of ice cream.
- Chiefly Northern U.S. a liquid or soft substance into which something is dipped.
- a creamy mixture of savory foods for scooping with potato chips, crackers, and the like, often served as an hors d’oeuvre, especially with cocktails.
- a momentary lowering; a sinking down.
- a moderate or temporary decrease: a dip in stock-market prices.
- a downward extension, inclination, slope, or course.
- the amount of such extension.
- a hollow or depression in the land.
- a brief swim: She took a dip in the ocean and then sat on the beach for an hour.
- Geology, Mining. the downward inclination of a vein or stratum with reference to the horizontal.
- the angular amount by which the horizon lies below the level of the eye.
- Also called angle of dip, inclination, magnetic dip, magnetic inclination. the angle that a freely rotating magnetic needle makes with the plane of the horizon.
- a short, downward plunge, as of an airplane.
- a candle made by repeatedly dipping a wick into melted tallow or wax.
- Gymnastics. an exercise on the parallel bars in which the elbows are bent until the chin is on a level with the bars, and then the body is elevated by straightening the arms.
- Slang. a pickpocket.
- at the dip, Nautical. not fully raised; halfway up the halyard: an answering pennant flown at the dip.Compare close(def 75b).
verb (intr, preposition)
- to draw (upon)he dipped into his savings
- to read (passages) at random or cursorily in (a book, newspaper, etc)
verb dips, dipping or dipped
- to plunge or be plunged quickly or briefly into a liquid, esp to wet or coat
- (intr) to undergo a slight decline, esp temporarilysales dipped in November
- (intr) to slope downwardsthe land dips towards the river
- (intr) to sink or appear to sink quicklythe sun dipped below the horizon
- (tr) to switch (car headlights) from the main to the lower beamUS and Canadian word: dim
- to immerse (poultry, sheep, etc) briefly in a liquid chemical to rid them of or prevent infestation by insects, etc
- to immerse (grain, vegetables, or wood) in a preservative liquid
- (tr) to stain or dye by immersing in a liquid
- (tr) to baptize (someone) by immersion
- (tr) to plate or galvanize (a metal, etc) by immersion in an electrolyte or electrolytic cell
- (tr) to scoop up a liquid or something from a liquid in the hands or in a container
- to lower or be lowered brieflyshe dipped her knee in a curtsy
- (tr) to make (a candle) by plunging the wick into melted wax
- (intr) to plunge a container, the hands, etc, into something, esp to obtain or retrieve an objecthe dipped in his pocket for money
- (intr; foll by in or into) to dabble (in); play (at)he dipped into black magic
- (intr) (of an aircraft) to drop suddenly and then regain height
- (intr) (of a rock stratum or mineral vein) to slope downwards from the horizontal
- (intr often foll by for) (in children’s games) to select (a leader, etc) by reciting any of various rhymes
- (tr) slang to pick (a person’s) pocket
- the act of dipping or state of being dipped
- a brief swim in water
- any liquid chemical preparation in which poultry, sheep, etc are dipped
- any liquid preservative into which objects, esp of wood, are dipped
- a preparation of dyeing agents into which fabric is immersed
- a depression, esp in a landscape
- something taken up by dipping
- a container used for dipping; dipper
- a momentary sinking down
- the angle of slope of rock strata, fault planes, etc, from the horizontal plane
- Also called: angle of dip, magnetic dip, inclination the angle between the direction of the earth’s magnetic field and the plane of the horizon; the angle that a magnetic needle free to swing in a vertical plane makes with the horizontal
- a creamy mixture into which pieces of food are dipped before being eaten
- surveying the angular distance of the horizon below the plane of observation
- a candle made by plunging a wick repeatedly into wax
- a momentary loss of altitude when flying
- (in gymnastics) a chinning exercise on the parallel bars
- a slang word for pickpocket
“stupid person, eccentric person,” 1920s slang, perhaps a back-formation from dippy. “Dipshit is an emphatic form of dip (2); dipstick may be a euphemism or may reflect putative dipstick ‘penis’ ” [DAS].
Old English dyppan “immerse, baptize by immersion,” from Proto-Germanic *duppjan (cf. Old Norse deypa “to dip,” Danish døbe “to baptize,” Old Frisian depa, Dutch dopen, German taufen, Gothic daupjan “to baptize”), related to Old English diepan “immerse, dip,” and perhaps ultimately to deep. As a noun, from 1590s. Sense of “downward slope” is 1708. Meaning “sweet sauce for pudding, etc.” first recorded 1825.
- The downward inclination of a rock stratum or vein in reference to the plane of the horizon.
- See magnetic inclination.
Investigate superficially, as in He began to dip into Chaucer, or She’s just dipping into psychology. This expression alludes to plunging briefly into a liquid. [Late 1600s]
Withdraw something in small amounts, usually money, as in I’ll have to dip into my savings. This usage employs dip into in the sense of plunging one’s hand or a ladle into a pot, water, or the like for the purpose of taking something out. [Early 1800s]