Definitions

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

  • noun Any of various freshwater cyprinid fishes, especially Abramis brama of Eurasia, having a compressed silvery body.
  • noun A similar fish, especially.
  • noun Any of various marine fishes of the family Sparidae, such as a porgy or a sea bream.
  • noun Any of various freshwater sunfishes of the family Centrarchidae, such as the bluegill.
  • transitive verb To clean (a wooden ship's hull) by applying heat to soften the pitch and then scraping.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Nautical, to clear, as a ship's bottom, of shells, seaweed, ooze, etc., by applying to it kindled furze, reeds, or other light combustibles, so as to soften the pitch and loosen the adherent matters, which may then be easily swept off. Also called broom.
  • noun Same as breeze.
  • noun Girella tricuspidata, of the family Kyphosidæ.
  • noun Same as white bream .
  • noun A fish of the family Cyprinidæ, Abramis brama, common in the fresh waters of Europe.
  • noun A cyprinoid fish related to the preceding, as for example the white bream or breamflat, or resembling it in having a deep body, as the carp-bream, Carassias gibelio, a variety of the crucian-carp.
  • noun A name given to various Sparidœ, more fully called sea-breams: in England, for example, to species of Sparus, Pagrus, Pagellus, and Cantharus, and in the United States to Diplodus holbrooki, the pinfish, and to Lagodon rhomboides, the sailor's-choice. See cut under Lagodon.
  • noun A fish of the family Bramidæ, as Ray's bream, Brama rayi.
  • noun In some parts of the United States, a centrarchoid fish, such as the common sunfish, Eupomotis gibbosus, and various species of the related genus Lepomis, as the blue bream, Lepomis pallidus.

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

  • transitive verb (Naut.) To clean, as a ship's bottom of adherent shells, seaweed, etc., by the application of fire and scraping.
  • noun (Zoöl) A European fresh-water cyprinoid fish of the genus Abramis, little valued as food. Several species are known.
  • noun (Zoöl) An American fresh-water fish, of various species of Pomotis and allied genera, which are also called sunfishes and pondfishes. See Pondfish.
  • noun (Zoöl) A marine sparoid fish of the genus Pagellus, and allied genera. See Sea Bream.

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

  • verb nautical To clean (e.g. a ship's bottom of clinging shells, seaweed, etc.) by the application of fire and scraping.
  • noun A European fresh-water cyprinoid fish of the genus Abramis, little valued as food. Several species are known.
  • noun UK A species in that genus, Abramis brama.
  • noun An American fresh-water fish, of various species of Pomotis and allied genera, which are also called sunfishes and pondfishes.
  • noun A marine sparoid fish of the genus Pagellus, and allied genera. See sea bream.

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

  • noun any of various usually edible freshwater percoid fishes having compressed bodies and shiny scales; especially (but not exclusively) of the genus Lepomis
  • noun flesh of various freshwater fishes of North America or of Europe
  • noun flesh of any of various saltwater fishes of the family Sparidae or the family Bramidae
  • verb clean (a ship's bottom) with heat
  • noun any of numerous marine percoid fishes especially (but not exclusively) of the family Sparidae

Etymologies

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

[Middle English breme, from Old French, of Germanic origin.]

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

[From Middle Dutch brem(e), furze, broom.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Compare broom, and German brennen (as in ein Schiff brennen).

Examples

Comments

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  • bream a fish named for its shimmering

    January 16, 2007

  • I've heard of the fish before today, but not the verb:

    "'Harding thought of showing the rest of the boys ... what half-breaming is like. Do you see, they have heaved her down as far as they decently can and they are scraping the weed from what bottom they can reach...'"

    --Patrick O'Brian, Blue at the Mizzen, 258

    "To clear a ship's bottom of shells, seaweed, ooze, etc., by singeing it, thus softening the pitch so that the debris can be scraped off." (A Sea of Words, 119)

    March 28, 2008

  • from Thoreau's A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

    July 19, 2009