• (RP, America) IPA: /ˈpluːm/
  • (obsolete) IPA: /ˈpljuːm/

plume (plural plumes)

  1. A feather of a bird, especially a large or showy one.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost
      wings […] of many a coloured plume
    • 1764, Horace Walpole, The Castle of Otranto, I:
      The first thing that struck Manfred's eyes was a group of his servants endeavouring to raise something that appeared to him a mountain of sable plumes.
  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.
    • 1800, Robert Bloomfield, The Farmer's Boy
      his high plume, that nodded o'er his head
  4. A token of honour or prowess; that on which one prides oneself; a prize or reward.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost
      ambitious to win from me some plume
  5. An area over which (or a space into which) a dispersed substance has spread or fanned out; a cloud.
    The pollutant creates a contaminant plume within an aquifer.
    After the explosion, a plume of smoke could be seen in the sky for miles around.
  6. An upward spray of water or mist.
  7. (geology) An upwelling of molten material from the Earth's mantle.
  8. (astronomy) An arc of glowing material erupting from the surface of a star.
  9. A large and flexible panicle of inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain large ornamental grasses.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Italian: brillamento

plume (plumes, present participle pluming; past and past participle plumed)

  1. (transitive) To preen and arrange the feathers of.
    • pluming 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.
    • c. 1603–1604, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene iii]:
      Farewell the plumed troop.
  5. To form a plume.
    Smoke plumed from his pipe then slowly settled towards the floor.
  6. To write; to pen.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, chapter XII, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. In Six Volumes, volume (please specify ), London: Printed by A[ndrew] Millar, […], OCLC 928184292 ↗, book VII:
  • Russian: чи́стить пёрышко
  • Portuguese: emplumar-se
  • Russian: хвали́ться
  • Portuguese: emplumar

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