- Rhymes: -uːm
From Middle English *comb, *cumb (> Scots cumb, coom (“tub, cistern”)), from Old English cumb (“a vessel; a liquid measure”), from Proto-Germanic *kumbaz (“bowl, vessel”). Compare German Kumpf (“bowl”).
coomb (plural coombs)
- An old English measure of corn (e.g., wheat), equal to half a quarter or 4 bushels. Also comb.
1866, James Edwin Thorold Rogers, A History of Agriculture and Prices in England, volume 1, page 168:
- It was equal to half a quarter, i.e. is identical with the coomb of the eastern counties.
1790 July 13, Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Secretary of State, Plan for establishing uniformity in the Coinage, Weights, and Measures of the United States," report communicated to the House of Representatives:
- Two kilderkins, or strikes, make a measure called a barrel, liquid, and a coomb, dry; this last term being ancient and little used.
- Alternative spelling of
1896, Thomas Hardy, chapter 4, in The Mayor of Casterbridge:
- From the centre of each side of this tree-bound square ran avenues east, west, and south into the wide expanse of corn-land and coomb to the distance of a mile or so.