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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”).
- Rhymes: -uːm
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.