General English


  • Vertical, or to make vertical.


  • adjective denotes a flat, true wicket that provides optimum conditions for batting and offers little or no assistance to the bowlers
    Citation ‘I clean bowled the Old Man, W. W. read, and A. E. Stoddart in a couple of overs with that ball, on a plumb Oval wicket’ (Cardus 1978)
  • adverb clearly and indisputably lbw
    Citation ‘In his third over, he bowled me an attempted bouncer which cut back and kept insidiously low. I was plumb LBW’ (Brearley 1982)
    Citation ‘When he was only on eighteen, he tried to put a ball behind square leg and found himself trapped plumb in front of the wicket’ (Purandare 2005)


  • An old English name for a raisin

Origin & History of “plumb”

Plumb comes via Old French *plombe from Latin plumbum ‘lead’, a word of uncertain origin. Of its modern English uses, the verbal ‘sound the depths’ comes from the use of a line weighted with lead (a plumb line) to measure the depth of water and the adverbial ‘exactly’ from the use of a similar line to determine verticality. Related words in English include aplomb; plumber (14th c.) (originally simply a ‘worker in lead’, but eventually, since water pipes were once made of lead, a ‘pipe-layer’); plummet (14th c.) (a diminutive form coined in Old French); and plunge (14th c.) (from the vulgar Latin derivative *plumbicāre ‘sound with a plumb’).