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

  • noun A feather, especially a large and showy one.
  • noun A large feather, cluster of feathers, or similar ornament worn on a helmet, hat, or horse's harness.
  • noun A token of honor or achievement.
  • noun A mass or stream of material that resembles a long feather.
  • noun An area or section of air, water, or soil containing pollutants released from a point source.
  • noun Geology An upwelling of molten material from the earth's mantle.
  • transitive verb To decorate, cover, or supply with a plume or plumes.
  • transitive verb To smooth or clean (feathers) with the bill or beak; preen.
  • transitive verb To congratulate (oneself) in a self-satisfied way.
  • intransitive verb To rise or emanate in a plume.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A feather.
  • noun A tuft of feathers; a set or bunch of plumes worn as an ornament; an egret; plumery.
  • noun Plumage.
  • noun A token of honor; a prize won by contest.
  • noun In botany, same as plumule, 3.
  • noun In entomology: A hair with many fine branches, resembling a little soft feather; a plumate hair.
  • noun A plume-moth.
  • noun A plumose part or formation, as of the gill of a crustacean or a mollusk.
  • To dress the plumage of, as a bird; preen.
  • To strip off the plumage of, as a bird; pluck.
  • To adorn with feathers or plumes; feather; set as a plume; hence, to decorate or adorn (the person) in any way.
  • To pride; boast: used reflexively: as, to plume one's self on one's skill.

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

  • transitive verb To pick and adjust the plumes or feathers of; to dress or prink.
  • transitive verb obsolete To strip of feathers; to pluck; to strip; to pillage; also, to peel.
  • transitive verb To adorn with feathers or plumes.
  • transitive verb To pride; to vaunt; to boast; -- used reflexively.
  • transitive verb (Zoöl.) an African viper (Vipera cornuta, syn. Clotho cornuta), having a plumelike structure over each eye. It is venomous, and is related to the African puff adder. Called also horned viper and hornsman.
  • transitive verb (Zoöl.) the California mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus). See Mountain quail, under Mountain.
  • noun A feather; esp., a soft, downy feather, or a long, conspicuous, or handsome feather.
  • noun (Zoöl.) An ornamental tuft of feathers.
  • noun A feather, or group of feathers, worn as an ornament; a waving ornament of hair, or other material resembling feathers.
  • noun A token of honor or prowess; that on which one prides himself; a prize or reward.
  • noun (Bot.) A large and flexible panicle of inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain large ornamental grasses.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any bird that yields ornamental plumes, especially the species of Epimarchus from New Guinea, and some of the herons and egrets, as the white heron of Florida (Ardea candidissima).
  • noun (Bot) The still finer Erianthus Ravennæ from the Mediterranean region. The name is sometimes extended to the whole genus.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any one of numerous small, slender moths, belonging to the family Pterophoridæ. Most of them have the wings deeply divided into two or more plumelike lobes. Some species are injurious to the grapevine.
  • noun (Bot.) an aromatic Australian tree (Atherosperma moschata), whose numerous carpels are tipped with long plumose persistent styles.

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

  • noun A feather of a bird, especially a large or showy one.
  • noun The furry tail of certain dog breeds that stand erect or curl over their backs (eg Samoyed, Malteagle)
  • noun A cluster of feathers worn as an ornament, especially on a helmet.
  • noun An upward spray of water or mist.
  • noun geology An upwelling of molten material from the Earth's mantle.
  • noun astronomy An arc of glowing material erupting from the surface of a star.
  • verb intransitive To preen and arrange feathers.
  • verb intransitive To congratulate oneself proudly.
  • verb To form a plume
  • verb To write; to pen.

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

  • verb be proud of
  • verb clean with one's bill
  • verb rip off; ask an unreasonable price


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin plūma.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin pluma ("feather") via Old French plume


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    September 18, 2008