Meerschaum meaning

mîr'shəm, -shôm'
A fine, compact, usually white claylike mineral of hydrous magnesium silicate, H4 Mg2 Si3 O10 , found in the Mediterranean area and used in fashioning tobacco pipes and as a building stone.
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A tobacco pipe with a bowl made of this mineral.
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A soft, claylike, orthorhombic mineral, Mg4(Si2O5)3(OH)26H2O, used to make tobacco pipes and other heat-resistant items; hydrous magnesium silicate; sepiolite.
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A pipe with a bowl made of this.
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(uncountable) A soft white mineral, chiefly used for smoking-pipes and cigar holders.
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(countable) A smoking-pipe made from meerschaum.
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Origin of meerschaum

  • German Meer sea (from Middle High German mer) (from Old High German mari mori- in Indo-European roots) Schaum foam (from Middle High German schūm) (from Old High German scūm (s)keu- in Indo-European roots)
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • Borrowing from German Meerschaum (“sea foam").
    From Wiktionary