- The definition of a plume is a feather or a group of feathers, or a cloud of material spreading from its source.
- A large, full feather from an ostrich that you wear in your hat is an example of a plume.
- A cloud of smoke coming from someone who is smoking a cigarette is an example of a plume of smoke.
- To plume means to decorate with a feather, or to spread out from a source.
- Adding a large turkey feather to a hat is an example of a way to plume a hat.
- When smoke billows out in waves from a factory, this is an example of when smoke plumes.
- a feather, esp. a large, fluffy, or showy one
- a cluster of such feathers
- an ornament made of a large feather or feathers, or of a feathery tuft of hair, esp. when worn on a hat, helmet, etc. as a mark of distinction
- any token of worth or achievement; prize
- plumage or down
- something like a plume in shape or lightness: a plume of smoke
- Biol. a featherlike formation or part
- Geol. a plume-shaped mass of molten rock that rises through the crust from the mantle of the earth and causes volcanic activity
Origin of plumeOld French ; from Classical Latin pluma, downy part of a feather, small soft feather ; from Indo-European base an unverified form pleus-, to pluck out, fluff of wool, hair from source fleece
- to provide, cover, or adorn with plumes
- to smooth the feathers of (itself)
- to preen (its feathers): said of a bird
- to pride (oneself)
- A feather, especially a large and showy one.
- A large feather, cluster of feathers, or similar ornament worn on a helmet, hat, or horse's harness.
- A token of honor or achievement.
- A mass or stream of material that resembles a long feather: a plume of smoke.
- An area or section of air, water, or soil containing pollutants released from a point source.
- Geology An upwelling of molten material from the earth's mantle.
verbplumed plumed, plum·ing, plumes
- To decorate, cover, or supply with a plume or plumes: “Her black velvet hat was plumed with a spray of violets” (Jim Rasenberger).
- To smooth or clean (feathers) with the bill or beak; preen.
- To congratulate (oneself) in a self-satisfied way: plumed himself on his victory.
Origin of plumeMiddle English, from Old French, from Latin plūma.
top: detail of a 1787 portrait of Count Josef Johann von Fries by Angelica Kauffmann (1741–1807)
bottom: volcanic plume at Mount St. Helens, photographed from Harry's Ridge
May 19, 1982
- A feather of a bird, especially a large or showy one.
- The furry tail of certain dog breeds (e.g. Samoyed, Malteagle) that stands erect or curls over their backs.
- A cluster of feathers worn as an ornament, especially on a helmet.
- A token of honour or prowess; that on which one prides himself; a prize or reward.
- An upward spray of water or mist.
- (geology) An upwelling of molten material from the Earth's mantle.
- (astronomy) An arc of glowing material erupting from the surface of a star.
- A large and flexible panicle of inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain large ornamental grasses.
(third-person singular simple present plumes, present participle pluming, simple past and past participle plumed)