Definitions

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

  • n. Any of several European freshwater fishes of the genus Abramis, especially A. brama, having a flattened body and silvery scales.
  • n. A similar fish, especially:
  • n. Any one of various saltwater fishes in the family Sparidae, such as the porgy.
  • n. Any one of various freshwater sunfishes of the genus Lepomis and related genera, such as the bluegill.
  • transitive v. Nautical To clean (a wooden ship's hull) by applying heat to soften the pitch and then scraping.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A fish of the family Cyprinidæ, Abramis brama, common in the fresh waters of Europe.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A fish of the family Bramidæ, as Ray's bream, Brama rayi.
  • n. 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.
  • 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.
  • n. Same as breeze.
  • n. Girella tricuspidata, of the family Kyphosidæ.
  • n. Same as white bream .

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

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

Etymologies

Middle English breme, from Old French, of Germanic origin.
From Middle Dutch brem(e), furze, broom.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Compare broom, and German brennen (as in ein Schiff brennen). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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

    July 19, 2009

  • 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

  • bream a fish named for its shimmering

    January 16, 2007