Oakum Definition

Loose, stringy hemp fiber gotten by taking apart old ropes and treated as with tar, used as a caulking material.
Webster's New World

Origin of Oakum

  • From Middle English okome, from Old English ācumba (“oakum", literally “that which has been combed out, off-combings"), a derivative of ācemban (“to comb out"), from Proto-Germanic *uz- + *kambijanÄ… (“to comb"), from Proto-Indo-European *uds-, *Å«d- (“out") + Proto-Indo-European *ǵombÊ°-, *ǵembÊ°- (“tooth, nail; to pierce, gnaw through"). More at out, comb.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English okom from Old English ācumba gembh- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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