Definitions

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

  • n. One, such as a machine or a worker, that combs something, such as wool.
  • n. A long wave that has reached its peak or broken into foam; a breaker.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a person who combs wool, etc
  • n. a machine that combs wool, etc
  • n. a long, curving wave breaking on the shore
  • n. a type of seawater fish

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who combs; one whose occupation it is to comb wool, flax, etc. Also, a machine for combing wool, flax, etc.
  • n. A long, curling wave.
  • transitive v. To cumber.
  • n. Encumbrance.
  • n. The cabrilla. Also, a name applied to a species of wrasse.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who combs; one whose occupation is the combing of wool, etc.
  • n. A long curling wave.
  • n. An obsolete form of cumber.
  • n. The Serranus cabrilla, also called smooth serranus and gaper, a fish of the sea-perch family, about a foot long, common on the southern coast of England.
  • n. A species of wrasse or Labrus (L. maculatus, var. comber), with a white lateral band from the eye to the caudal fin, found on the Cornish coast. Also called comber wrasse.
  • n. A machine for combing cotton, wool, and other textile fibers.

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

  • n. a long curling sea wave
  • n. a machine that separates and straightens the fibers of cotton or wool
  • n. a person who separates and straightens the fibers of cotton or wool

Etymologies

comb +‎ -er (Wiktionary)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • They all had caps of the same pattern, and wore a subdued look, in addition to their naturally aquiline features, as if a breaker -- a "comber" -- had washed over them.

    Cape Cod

  • _Chelton_ was shot through what seemed to be a "comber" as if she had been a submarine.

    The Motor Girls on Crystal Bay or, The Secret of the Red Oar

  • This was just after Mr Zachariah Lathrope, the American passenger, had so well illustrated Virgil's line, _facilus descensus averni_, in coming down the stairway by the run, on the top of a "comber;" and, although the steward had lit one of the swinging lamps over the cuddy table, it only served, with its feeble flickering light, to "make the darkness visible" and render the scene more sombre.

    The Wreck of the Nancy Bell Cast Away on Kerguelen Land

  • "No, I was not, I was very busy all day 'taking observations' every hour or two, and it was at twelve o'clock this very night that the 'comber' broke on deck."

    Miscellanea

  • "comber" met us, we were literally _buried_ for the moment, while it swept over us.

    Under the Meteor Flag Log of a Midshipman during the French Revolutionary War

  • "A 'comber' is the name for a large wave with a comb or crest of foam, a sort of wave over which our ship ought to have ridden; but I must tell you that it was no easy matter to meet them on this occasion, because

    Miscellanea

  • A few minutes later I came charging in on a comber.

    Jack London:Surfing in Hawaii

  • How was I to stop that comber on whose back I was?

    Jack London:Surfing in Hawaii

  • The deserted boat was in the trough of the sea, rolling drunkenly across each comber, its loose spritsail out at right angles to it and fluttering and flapping in the wind.

    Chapter 25

  • Even as they spoke, the black tarpaulin swooped from sight behind a big comber.

    THE ONE THOUSAND DOZEN

Comments

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  • Thrashing through a tearing gale with a dark green sea ahead,
    While the funnel clews sing madly against a sky of red,
    Foam choked and wave choked, scarred by battered gear,
    The long brown decks are whirling seas where silver combers rear.

    - Gordon Malherbe Hillman, 'The Tankers'.

    September 23, 2009