• Plume


    • RP IPA: /ˈpluːm/
    • Rhymes: -uːm


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

    Full definition of plume



    (plural plumes)
    1. A feather of a bird, especially a large or showy one.
      • Miltonwings ... of many a coloured plume
    2. The furry tail of certain dog breeds (e.g. Samoyed, Malteagle) that stands erect or curls over their backs.
    3. A cluster of feathers worn as an ornament, especially on a helmet.
      • Drydenhis high plume, that nodded o'er his head
    4. A token of honour or prowess; that on which one prides himself; a prize or reward.
      • Miltonambitious to win from me some plume
    5. An upward spray of water or mist.
    6. (geology) An upwelling of molten material from the Earth's mantle.
    7. (astronomy) An arc of glowing material erupting from the surface of a star.
    8. A large and flexible panicle of inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain large ornamental grasses.

    Derived terms

    terms derived from plume (noun)


    1. (transitive) To preen and arrange the feathers of.
      • Washington Irvingpluming her wings among the breezy bowers
    2. (transitive) To congratulate (oneself) proudly.He plumes himself on his skill.
    3. To strip of feathers; to pluck; to strip; to pillage; also, to peel.
    4. To adorn with feathers or plumes.
      • ShakespeareFarewell the plumed troop.
    5. To form a plume.Smoke plumed from his pipe then slowly settled towards the floor.
    6. To write; to pen.
      • Fielding Tom Jones|VII|xiiWe mention this observation, not with any view of pretending to account for so odd a behaviour, but lest some critic should hereafter plume himself on discovering it.
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