plume

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See also: plumé and plūme

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

A woman’s hat adorned with ostrich plumes (noun sense 1).
A Life Guard on sentry duty at Whitehall in London, England, UK, wearing a ceremonial helmet with a plume (noun sense 2) known as a hackle.
The vane, or flattened, web-like part, of a feather is called a plume (sense 4), especially when on a quill pen.
A plume of smoke (noun sense 6.1) seen during the Pioneer Fire in Boise National Forest near Idaho City, Idaho, USA, on July 18, 2016.
The furry tail of some dog breeds such as the Samoyed is called a plume (noun sense 6.6.1)

Etymology 1[edit]

From Late Middle English plum, plume (feather; plumage),[1] from Anglo-Norman plum, plume and Middle French, Old French plume, plome (plumage; down used for stuffing pillows, etc.; pen, quill) (modern French plume (feather; pen, quill; pen nib; (figurative) writer)), and directly from its etymon Latin plūma (feather; plumage; down) (compare Late Latin plūma (pen, quill)),[2] ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- (to fly; to flow; to run; to flap with hands; to splash). The English word is a doublet of pluma.

Noun[edit]

plume (plural plumes)

  1. (archaic, literary and poetic) A feather of a bird, especially a large or showy one used as a decoration.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book III”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554, lines 650–654:
      Under a Coronet his flowing haire / In curles on either cheek plaid, wings he wore / Of many a colourd plume ſprinkl'd with Gold, / His habit fit for ſpeed ſuccinct, and held / Before his decent ſteps a Silver wand.
    • 1764, “Onuphrio Muralto”, chapter I, in William Marshal [pseudonym; Horace Walpole], transl., The Castle of Otranto, [], Dublin: [] J. Hoey, [], published 1765, OCLC 837383313, page 4:
      The firſt thing that ſtruck Manfred’s eyes was a groupe of his ſervants, endeavouring to raiſe ſomething that appeared to him a mountain of ſable plumes. [...] [W]hat a ſight for a father’s eyes!—he beheld his child daſhed to pieces, and almoſt buried under an enormous helmet, an hundred times more large than any caſque ever made for human being, and ſhaded with a proportionable quantity of black feathers.
    • 2020 August 4, Richard Conniff, “They may Look Goofy, but Ostriches are Nobody’s Fool”, in National Geographic[1], Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, ISSN 0027-9358, OCLC 1049714034, archived from the original on 9 October 2020:
      [T]he most valuable cargo carried by the Titanic wasn't diamonds or gold but 12 cases of ostrich plumes valued at $2.3 million in today's money.
  2. (archaic, literary and poetic) A cluster of feathers worn as an ornament, especially on a helmet; a hackle.
    • a. 1701, John Dryden, “The Last Parting of Hector and Andromache. From the Sixth Book of the Iliad.”, in The Miscellaneous Works of John Dryden, [], volume IV, London: [] J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson, [], published 1760, OCLC 863244003, page 455:
      The fearful infant turn'd his head away, / And on his nurſe's neck reclining lay, / His unknown father ſhunning with affright, / And looking back on ſo uncouth a ſight; / Daunted to ſee a face with ſteel o'er-ſpread, / And his high plume that nodded o'er his head.
  3. (figuratively) A token of honour or prowess; that on which one prides oneself; a prize or reward.
    Synonym: feather in one's cap
  4. The vane (flattened, web-like part) of a feather, especially when on a quill pen or the fletching of an arrow.
  5. Short for plume moth (a small, slender moth of the family Pterophoridae).
  6. Things resembling a feather.
    1. A cloud formed by a dispersed substance fanning out or spreading.
      After the explosion, a plume of smoke could be seen in the sky for miles around.
      The pollutant creates a contaminant plume within an aquifer.
    2. An upward spray of mist or water.
    3. (astronomy) An arc of glowing material (chiefly gases) erupting from the surface of a star.
    4. (botany) A large and flexible panicle of an inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain large ornamental grasses.
    5. (geology) Short for mantle plume (an upwelling of abnormally hot molten material from the Earth's mantle which spreads sideways when it reaches the lithosphere).
    6. (zoology) A body part resembling a feather.
      1. The furry tail of certain dog breeds (such as the Samoyed) that curls over their backs or stands erect.
      2. More fully gill plume: a feathery gill of some crustaceans and molluscs.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Sense 1 (“to adorn, cover, or furnish with feathers or plumes”) is derived from Anglo-Norman plumer (to cover with or provide with feathers), or its etymon Latin plūmāre, the present active infinitive of plūmō (to grow feathers, to fledge; to cover with feathers, to feather; to embroider with a feathery pattern) (and compare Late Latin plūmō (to attach feathers to arrows; of a hawk: to pluck the feathers from prey; (figurative) to celebrate, praise)), from plūma (feather; plumage; down) (see etymology 1)[3] + (suffix forming regular first-conjugation verbs).

Senses 2–4 (“to arrange and preen the feathers of; to congratulate (oneself) proudly; to strip of feathers”) are from Late Middle English plumen (to remove the feathers from a bird; of a hawk: to pluck the feathers or the head from prey) [and other forms],[4] from Anglo-Norman and Middle French plumer (to remove the feathers from a bird; to pull out (hairs, especially from a moustache); to rob), from plūma (see etymology 1).[3]

Sense 5 (“to fan out or spread in a cloud”) is derived from plume (noun).[3]

Verb[edit]

plume (third-person singular simple present plumes, present participle pluming, simple past and past participle plumed)

  1. (transitive, also figuratively) To adorn, cover, or furnish with feathers or plumes, or as if with feathers or plumes.
    Synonyms: feather, fledge
  2. (transitive, reflexive) Chiefly of a bird: to arrange and preen the feathers of, specifically in preparation for flight; hence (figuratively), to prepare for (something).
  3. (transitive, reflexive, by extension) To congratulate (oneself) proudly, especially concerning something unimportant or when taking credit for another person's effort; to self-congratulate.
    He plumes himself on his skill.
  4. (transitive, archaic) To strip (a bird) of feathers; to pluck.
    Synonym: unplume
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
    1. (by extension) To peel, to strip completely; to pillage; also, to deprive of power.
    2. (falconry, obsolete) Of a hawk: to pluck the feathers from prey.
  5. (intransitive) Of a dispersed substance such as dust or smoke: to fan out or spread in a cloud.
    Smoke plumed from his pipe, then slowly settled towards the floor.
Conjugation[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ plū̆m(e, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ plume, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2006; “plume, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 plume, v.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2006; “plume, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  4. ^ plū̆men, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.

Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

plume (1)
plumes (3)

Etymology[edit]

From Old French plume, from Latin plūma.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

plume f (plural plumes)

  1. feather
  2. quill
  3. nib, the writing end of a fountain pen or a dip pen
  4. (dated) writer, penman

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • English: plume
  • Rade: plim

Verb[edit]

plume

  1. inflection of plumer:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative
    2. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    3. second-person singular imperative

Further reading[edit]


Friulian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin plūma.

Noun[edit]

plume f (plural plumis)

  1. plume, feather
    Synonym: pene

Old English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Proto-West Germanic *plūmā, from Latin prūnum.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

plūme f

  1. plum

Declension[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]


Old French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin plūma.

Noun[edit]

plume f (oblique plural plumes, nominative singular plume, nominative plural plumes)

  1. feather; plume

Descendants[edit]