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

  • noun A light, porous, glassy lava, used in solid form as an abrasive and in powdered form as a polish and an abrasive.
  • transitive verb To clean, polish, or smooth with pumice.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To polish, rub, or otherwise treat with pumicestone; especially, in silver-plating, to clean with pumice and water, as the surface of an article to be plated.
  • noun Lava having a loose, spongy or cellular structure; lava from which gas or steam has escaped in large quantities while it was becoming consolidated.

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

  • noun (Min.) A very light porous volcanic scoria, usually of a gray color, the pores of which are capillary and parallel, giving it a fibrous structure. It is supposed to be produced by the disengagement of watery vapor without liquid or plastic lava. It is much used, esp. in the form of powder, for smoothing and polishing. Called also pumice stone.

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

  • noun A light, porous type of pyroclastic igneous rock, formed during explosive volcanic eruptions when liquid lava is ejected into the air as a froth containing masses of gas bubbles. As the lava solidifies, the bubbles are frozen into the rock.
  • verb transitive To abrade or roughen with pumice.

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

  • verb rub with pumice, in order to clean or to smoothen
  • noun a light glass formed on the surface of some lavas; used as an abrasive


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

[Middle English, from Anglo-Norman pomis, from Late Latin pōmex, from Latin pūmex, alteration of spūma, foam.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin pūmex ("pumice stone").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word pumice.


  • The name pumice is derived from the Latin word pumex, meaning foam.

    Pumice 2008

  • For a similar style, try Old Navy's cropped cotton twill blazer in pumice.

    Fashion Forward: Blanchett is bright in Armani's Black Lace makeup 2010

  • Lava Soap contains a fine grit of pumice, which is death on grease and grime, but tough on the skin.

    99 and 44/100 Percent Pure ... Steve Perry 2009

  • So-called pumice-concrete "hollow floor fillers" can be used in constructing ribbed floors (Fig. 47), e.g. when there is a shortage of form - work material, since such floors consist exclusively of prefabricated members.

    3. Precast Pumice-Concrete Building Members 1990

  • This book is intended to stimulate interest in a line of approach to such problems by describing how to build simple, inexpensive houses out of a very commonplace raw material, namely pumice, i.e. volcanic glass or hardened volcanic froth.

    1. Introduction 1990

  • Pozzolana identified as pumice, yellow fine-grained tuff, volcanic ash.

    Chapter 9 1985

  • When the lighter superficial lava is brought suddenly into contact with water, as when a lava-stream enters the sea, it becomes still lighter and more porous -- forming the well-known substance called pumice, so much used for polishing.

    Wonders of Creation Anonymous

  • Porous volcanic rock called pumice and Southern pine bark. RSS 2010

  • Other landscape features include crater lakes, fumaroles, lava tubes, sulfur fields and a great variety of lava and other ejecta such as pumice, ash and tuff.

    Galápagos National Park & Galápagos Marine Resources Reserve, Ecuador 2009

  • Bricks made of diatomatious earth (Kieselguhr), loose diatomatious earth or some other material such as pumice stone, or even air gaps can be used as a means of containing the heat.

    3. Technical and Production Information 1985


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

  • (n.) Moonshiners' term for crushed fermented fruit and sugar used to make brandy. Pumice was stirred during heating with a stir stick.

    August 26, 2009

  • Obviously a corruption of pomace in this case.

    September 17, 2009