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

  • n. A thin toothed strip, as of plastic, used to smooth, arrange, or fasten the hair.
  • n. An implement, such as a card for dressing and cleansing wool or other fiber, that resembles a hair comb in shape or use.
  • n. A currycomb.
  • n. The fleshy crest or ridge that grows on the crown of the head of domestic fowl and other birds and is most prominent in the male.
  • n. Something suggesting a fowl's comb in appearance or position.
  • n. A honeycomb.
  • transitive v. To move a comb through (the hair) so as to arrange or groom: combed her hair with a comb; combed his hair with his fingers.
  • transitive v. To move though or pass across with a raking action: The wind combed the wheatfields.
  • transitive v. To card (wool or other fiber).
  • transitive v. To search thoroughly; look through: combed the dresser drawers for a lost bracelet.
  • transitive v. To eliminate with or as with a comb: combed the snarls out of his hair.
  • intransitive v. To roll and break. Used of waves.
  • intransitive v. To make a thorough search: combed through the file for the contract.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A toothed implement for grooming the hair.
  • n. A machine used in separating choice cotton fibers from worsted cloth fibers.
  • n. A fleshy growth on the top of the head of some birds and reptiles; crest.
  • n. A structure of hexagon cells made by bees for storing honey; honeycomb.
  • n. An old English measure of corn equal to the half quarter.
  • n. The top part of a gun’s stock.
  • n. The toothed plate at the top and bottom of an escalator that prevents objects getting trapped between the moving stairs and fixed landings.
  • n. The main body of a harmonica containing the air chambers and to which the reed plates are attached.
  • v. To groom with a toothed implement; chiefly with a comb.
  • v. To separate choice cotton fibers from worsted cloth fibers.
  • v. To search thoroughly as if raking over an area with a comb.
  • n. Combination.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An instrument with teeth, for straightening, cleansing, and adjusting the hair, or for keeping it in place.
  • n. An instrument for currying hairy animals, or cleansing and smoothing their coats; a currycomb.
  • n.
  • n. A toothed instrument used for separating and cleansing wool, flax, hair, etc.
  • n. The serrated vibratory doffing knife of a carding machine.
  • n. A former, commonly cone-shaped, used in hat manufacturing for hardening the soft fiber into a bat.
  • n. A tool with teeth, used for chasing screws on work in a lathe; a chaser.
  • n. The notched scale of a wire micrometer.
  • n. The collector of an electrical machine, usually resembling a comb.
  • n.
  • n. The naked fleshy crest or caruncle on the upper part of the bill or hood of a cock or other bird. It is usually red.
  • n. One of a pair of peculiar organs on the base of the abdomen of scorpions.
  • n. The curling crest of a wave.
  • n. The waxen framework forming the walls of the cells in which bees store their honey, eggs, etc.; honeycomb.
  • n. The thumbpiece of the hammer of a gunlock, by which it may be cocked.
  • n. That unwatered portion of a valley which forms its continuation beyond and above the most elevated spring that issues into it.
  • n. A dry measure. See coomb.
  • intransitive v. To roll over, as the top or crest of a wave; to break with a white foam, as waves.
  • transitive v. To disentangle, cleanse, or adjust, with a comb; to lay smooth and straight with, or as with, a comb. See under combing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To dress with a comb: as, to comb one's hair.
  • To card, as wool; hackle, as flax.
  • To grain with a painter's comb.
  • To roll over or break with a white foam, as the. top of a wave.
  • To subject to a process or action similar to that of combing, as in dredging: as, to comb oyster-beds.
  • n. A thin strip of wood, metal, bone, ivory, tortoise-shell, etc., one or both edges of which are indentated so as to form a series of teeth, or to which teeth have been attached; or several such strips set parallel to one another in a frame, as in a currycomb.
  • n. Anything resembling a comb in appearance or use, especially for mechanical use.
  • n. The notched scale of a wire micrometer.
  • n. The window-stool of a casement.
  • n. The fleshy crest or caruncle growing, in one of several forms, on the head of the domestic fowl, and particularly developed in the male birds: so called from its serrated indentures in the typical form, or single comb, which resemble the teeth of a comb.
  • n. Anything resembling in nature, shape, or position the caruncle on a fowl's head.
  • n. The pecten or marsupium in the interior of a bird's eye.
  • n. In mining, the division of the mass of a lode into parallel plates, or layers of crystalline material parallel to its walls.
  • n. The projection on the top of the hammer of a gun-lock.
  • n. The top corner of a gun-stock, on which the cheek rests in firing.
  • n. A honeycomb.
  • n. A dry measure of 4 bushels, or half a quarter.
  • n. A brewing-vat.
  • n. A more or less rounded, bowl-shaped hollow or valley inclosed on all sides but one by steep and in some cases perpendicular cliffs.
  • n.
  • n. See comb-flower.

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

  • n. a flat device with narrow pointed teeth on one edge; disentangles or arranges hair
  • v. search thoroughly
  • n. any of several tools for straightening fibers
  • n. the fleshy red crest on the head of the domestic fowl and other gallinaceous birds
  • v. straighten with a comb
  • v. smoothen and neaten with or as with a comb
  • n. ciliated comb-like swimming plate of a ctenophore
  • n. the act of drawing a comb through hair


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

Middle English, from Old English; see gembh- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old English camb ("comb"), from Proto-Germanic *kambaz (“comb”) (compare Swedish/Dutch kam, German Kamm), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵómbʰos (“tooth”), from Proto-Indo-European *ǵómbʰ- (“to pierce, gnaw through”) (compare Tocharian B keme, Lithuanian žam̃bas ("sharp edge"), Old Church Slavonic зѫбъ (zǫbŭ), Albanian dhëmb, Ancient Greek γομφίος (gomphíos, "backtooth, molar"), Sanskrit जम्भ (jambha)).


  • II. i.26 (189,3) you crow, cock, with your comb on] The allusion is to a fool's cap, which hath a _comb_ like a cock's.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • They do not sting like those of Castile and thus they easily remove the comb from the hives, which are small and not of cork, of which there is none in the country, but of the trunk of certain trees, bored or chiseled through lengthwise, with a very wide hole, so that it is left hollow.

    Did you know? Mexico's first tourists

  • Upon reaching the house, the comb is put in a box and the bees settle in it to the ringing of the little bell.

    Honeybees: have they emigrated to Mexico?

  • When the comb is taken from the tree it is placed in the middle of the cloth and carried by the four ends.

    Honeybees: have they emigrated to Mexico?

  • We wear all the protective gear so no need to worry, it just adds to how amazing these bees are, not to mention that honey straight from the comb is simply amazing.

    2008 March « Brandino’s Bolivia Blog

  • This darksome burn, horseback brown, His rollrock highroad roaring down, In coop and in comb the fleece of his foam Flutes and low to the lake falls home.

    Archive 2007-07-29

  • In the inner cities this is usually referred to as a comb and conk.

    John Lee Hooker Lyrics

  • Unfortunately, the first tooth on the comb is not at the frequency of 0 Hz but at the distance f0.

    The Nobel Prize in Physics 2005

  • Repeat until the water no longer gets cloudy when the comb is rinsed.


  • A saucepan, say, or a comb, is very much the same thing as it was when the Greeks were besieging Troy.

    As I Please


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "comb" in Hungarian means: thigh

    August 1, 2012

  • For "comb jelly" see ctenophore.

    December 22, 2009