Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An old English measure of corn (e.g., wheat), equal to half a quarter or 4 bushels. Also comb.
  • n. Alternative spelling of combe.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A dry measure of four bushels, or half a quarter.
  • n. A hollow in a hillside. [Prov. Eng.] See comb, combe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as comb.
  • n. Same as comb.
  • n. Same as coom.

Etymologies

Anglo-Saxon cumb a liquid measure, perhaps from Latin cumba boat, tomb of stone, from Ancient Greek hollow of a vessel, cup, boat, but compare German Kumpf bowl. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The Treasury lawyers need to go through the pension contract with a fine tooth coomb and find a get out clause.

    Smoking Guns and the Morality of Parliamentary Privilege

  • Her triumph over obstacles ranging from the pedestrian to the inconvenient (growing up in the richest city in the world, attending law school, and having a disease the treatment of which was discovered more than 40 years ago), has created what will be a short lived coomb-bye-yaa with most of the major voting blocs in the country.

    Shaun Casey: Forgetting Sonia Sotomayor

  • The OED defines “coomb” both as a boiling receptacle and as “a sharp and steep ravine where streams all rush downhill”.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Commas and Periods — Inside Closing Quotation Marks or Outside Them?

  • At the second time of closing in they found themselves near a lonely ash, the single tree on this part of the coomb, probably sown there by a passing bird some fifty years before.

    Wessex Tales

  • But, though the wind up here blew unmistakably when it did blow, and the rain hit hard whenever it fell, the various weathers of the winter season were not quite so formidable on the coomb as they were imagined to be by dwellers on low ground.

    Wessex Tales

  • ‘Late to be traipsing athwart this coomb — hey?’ said the engaged man of fifty.

    Wessex Tales

  • I asked him the name of the ravine and he told me it was Ceunant Coomb or hollow-dingle coomb.

    Wild Wales : Its People, Language and Scenery

  • I asked the name of the brook, and he told me that it was called the brook of the hollow-dingle coomb, adding that it ran under Pont Newydd, though where that was I knew not.

    Wild Wales : Its People, Language and Scenery

  • I bethought me, however, to try the creek which drained the coomb, and see whether it might not have made itself a smoother way.

    Erewhon

  • Off course we all know whey this warty do no coomb, becourgh the tangs they are awl freezup, awl on they, awl they freezop.

    A Spaniard in the Works

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Comments

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  • ...a coomb of dangerous and very stony ground, where a slip might have given me a disastrous fall.

    - Samuel Butler, Erewhon

    July 18, 2008