• Sponge


    • enPR: spÅ­nj, IPA: /spÊŒndÊ’/
    • Rhymes: -ÊŒndÊ’


    Old English spunge, from Latin spongia, from Ancient Greek σπογγιά, related to σπόγγος.

    Full definition of sponge



    (countable and uncountable; plural sponges)
    1. (countable) Any of various marine invertebrates, mostly of the phylum Porifera, that have a porous skeleton often of silica.
    2. (countable) A piece of porous material used for washing (originally made from the invertebrates, now often made of plastic).
      • 1913, w, Lord Stranleigh Abroad Chapter 5, She removed Stranleigh’s coat with a dexterity that aroused his imagination. The elder woman returned with dressings and a sponge, which she placed on a chair.
    3. (uncountable) A porous material such as sponges consist of.
    4. (informal) A heavy drinker.
    5. (countable, uncountable) A type of light cake; sponge cake.
    6. (countable, uncountable, British) A type of steamed pudding.
    7. (slang) A person who takes advantage of the generosity of others (abstractly imagined to absorb or soak up the money or efforts of others like a sponge).
    8. (countable) A form of contraception that is inserted vaginally; a Contraceptive sponge.
    9. Any spongelike substance.
      1. Dough before it is kneaded and formed into loaves, and after it is converted into a light, spongy mass by the agency of the yeast or leaven.
      2. Iron from the puddling furnace, in a pasty condition.
      3. Iron ore, in masses, reduced but not melted or worked.
    10. A mop for cleaning the bore of a cannon after a discharge. It consists of a cylinder of wood, covered with sheepskin with the wool on, or cloth with a heavy looped nap, and having a handle, or staff.
    11. The extremity, or point, of a horseshoe, answering to the heel.



    1. (intransitive, slang) To take advantage of the kindness of others.
      • L'EstrangeThe fly is an intruder, and a common smell-feast, that sponges upon other people's trenchers.
    2. He has been sponging off his friends for a month now.
    3. (transitive) To get by imposition; to scrounge.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 13, … They talk of you as if you were Croesus—and I expect the beggars sponge on you unconscionably.” And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes.
    4. to sponge a breakfast
    5. (transitive) To deprive (somebody) of something by imposition.
      • SouthHow came such multitudes of our nation ... to be sponged of their plate and their money?
    6. To clean, soak up, or dab with a sponge.
    7. To suck in, or imbibe, like a sponge.
    8. To wipe out with a sponge, as letters or writing; to efface; to destroy all trace of.
    9. (intransitive) To be converted, as dough, into a light, spongy mass by the agency of yeast or leaven.


    © Wiktionary