A woman holding a large feather.
- 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
transitive verbplumed, plum′ing
- 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, 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)