from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Foam or froth on a liquid, as on the sea.
  • intransitive verb To froth or foam.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Froth; foam; scum; frothy matter raised on liquors or fluid substances by boiling, effervescence, or agitation.
  • To froth; foam.
  • Same as spoom.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Frothy matter raised on liquids by boiling, effervescence, or agitation; froth; foam; scum.
  • intransitive verb To froth; to foam.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Foam or froth of water, particularly that of sea water.
  • verb To froth.

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

  • noun foam or froth on the sea
  • verb make froth or foam and become bubbly


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

[Middle English, from Old French espume, from Latin spūma.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from ultimately from Latin spūma.


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  • I've always loved this word, although rarely have a chance to use it in conversation, living far away from the sea. This is a shame.

    March 22, 2008

  • It's okay, you can do it. I think all of us here have moved house at one time because we found a neighbourhood with a better word in it.

    March 22, 2008

  • Indeed. I know I have.

    March 22, 2008

  • "The sea of spuming thought foists up again

    The radiant bubble that she was. And then

    A deep up-pouring from some saltier well

    Within me, bursts its watery syllable."

    -from Wallace Stevens' Le Monocle de Mon Oncle

    August 3, 2009

  • How close does the dragon's spume

    have to come? How wide does the crack

    in heaven have to split?

    What would people look like

    if we could see them as they are,

    soaked in honey, stung and swollen,

    reckless, pinned against time?

    - Ellen Bass, 'If You Knew'.

    September 7, 2009