- any of a phylum (Porifera) of simple, aquatic, sessile animals having a porous structure and a tough, often siliceous or calcareous, skeleton
- the elastic skeleton, or a piece of the skeleton, of certain sponges, light in weight and highly absorbent, used for washing surfaces, in bathing, etc.
- any substance like this; specif.,
- a piece of spongy plastic, cellulose, rubber, etc., used like natural sponge
- a pad of gauze or cotton, as used in surgery
- a light dessert made of whipped gelatin and beaten egg whites or whipped cream
- raised dough, as for bread
- any of several metals, as platinum, found in a porous mass
- a person having a spongelike capacity, as for drink, knowledge, etc.
- Informal sponger (sense )
ME < OE < L spongia < Gr spongia, spongos
transitive verb sponged, sponging
- to use a sponge on so as to dampen, wipe clean, etc.
- to remove or obliterate with or as with a damp sponge: usually with out, off, away, etc.
- to absorb with, as with, or like a sponge: often with up
- Informal to get without cost, as by begging, imposition, etc.
ME spongen < spongethe