from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A feather, especially a large and showy one.
  • n. A large feather or cluster of feathers worn as an ornament or symbol of rank, as on a helmet.
  • n. A token of honor or achievement.
  • n. A structure or form that is like a long feather: a plume of smoke.
  • n. Ecology A space in air, water, or soil containing pollutants released from a point source.
  • n. Geology An upwelling of molten material from the earth's mantle.
  • transitive v. To decorate, cover, or supply with or as if with plumes.
  • transitive v. To smooth (feathers); preen.
  • transitive v. To congratulate (oneself) in a self-satisfied way: plumed himself on his victory.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A feather of a bird, especially a large or showy one.
  • n. The furry tail of certain dog breeds that stand erect or curl over their backs (eg Samoyed, Malteagle)
  • n. A cluster of feathers worn as an ornament, especially on a helmet.
  • n. An upward spray of water or mist.
  • n. An upwelling of molten material from the Earth's mantle.
  • n. An arc of glowing material erupting from the surface of a star.
  • v. To preen and arrange feathers.
  • v. To congratulate oneself proudly.
  • v. To form a plume
  • v. To write; to pen.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A feather; esp., a soft, downy feather, or a long, conspicuous, or handsome feather.
  • n. An ornamental tuft of feathers.
  • n. A feather, or group of feathers, worn as an ornament; a waving ornament of hair, or other material resembling feathers.
  • n. A token of honor or prowess; that on which one prides himself; a prize or reward.
  • n. A large and flexible panicle of inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain large ornamental grasses.
  • transitive v. To pick and adjust the plumes or feathers of; to dress or prink.
  • transitive v. To strip of feathers; to pluck; to strip; to pillage; also, to peel.
  • transitive v. To adorn with feathers or plumes.
  • transitive v. To pride; to vaunt; to boast; -- used reflexively.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To dress the plumage of, as a bird; preen.
  • To strip off the plumage of, as a bird; pluck.
  • To adorn with feathers or plumes; feather; set as a plume; hence, to decorate or adorn (the person) in any way.
  • To pride; boast: used reflexively: as, to plume one's self on one's skill.
  • n. A feather.
  • n. A tuft of feathers; a set or bunch of plumes worn as an ornament; an egret; plumery.
  • n. Plumage.
  • n. A token of honor; a prize won by contest.
  • n. In botany, same as plumule, 3.
  • n. In entomology: A hair with many fine branches, resembling a little soft feather; a plumate hair.
  • n. A plume-moth.
  • n. A plumose part or formation, as of the gill of a crustacean or a mollusk.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. be proud of
  • v. clean with one's bill
  • v. rip off; ask an unreasonable price
  • v. dress or groom with elaborate care
  • v. deck with a plume
  • n. anything that resembles a feather in shape or lightness
  • v. form a plume
  • n. the light horny waterproof structure forming the external covering of birds
  • n. a feather or cluster of feathers worn as an ornament


Middle English, from Old French, from Latin plūma.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin pluma ("feather") via Old French plume (Wiktionary)


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