- (countable) Any of various marine invertebrates, mostly of the phylum Porifera, that have a porous skeleton often of silica.
- (countable) A piece of porous material used for washing (originally made from the invertebrates, now often made of plastic).
- (uncountable) A porous material such as sponges consist of.
- (informal) A heavy drinker.
- (countable, uncountable) A type of light cake; sponge cake.
- (countable, uncountable, Britain) A type of steamed pudding.
- (slang) A person who takes advantage of the generosity of others (abstractly imagined to absorb or soak up the money or efforts of others like a sponge).
- (countable) A form of contraception that is inserted vaginally; a contraceptive sponge.
- Any spongelike substance.
- Dough before it is kneaded and formed into loaves, and after it is converted into a light, spongy mass by the agency of the yeast or leaven.
- Iron from the puddling furnace, in a pasty condition.
- Iron ore, in masses, reduced but not melted or worked.
- A mop for cleaning the bore of a cannon after a discharge. It consists of a cylinder of wood, covered with sheepskin with the wool on, or cloth with a heavy looped nap, and having a handle, or staff.
- The extremity, or point, of a horseshoe, answering to the heel.
- (marine invertebrate): sea sponge, bath sponge, poriferan, porifer
- (piece of porous material used for washing): bath sponge
- (light cake): sponge cake
- (type of steamed pudding): sponge pudding
- (person): freeloader, sponger
piece of porous material used for washing
informal: heavy drinker
sponge cake — see sponge cake
sponge pudding — see sponge pudding
slang: person who takes advantage of the generosity of others
form of contraception
mop for cleaning the bore of a cannon
- (intransitive, slang) To take advantage of the kindness of others.
- The fly is an intruder, and a common smell-feast, that sponges upon other people's trenchers.
He has been sponging off his friends for a month now.
- (transitive) To get by imposition; to scrounge.
1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 13, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
- “[…] They talk of you as if you were Croesus—and I expect the beggars sponge on you unconscionably.” And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)
to sponge a breakfast
- (transitive) To deprive (somebody) of something by imposition.
- How came such multitudes of our nation […] to be sponged of their plate and their money?
- To clean, soak up, or dab with a sponge.
- To suck in, or imbibe, like a sponge.
- To wipe out with a sponge, as letters or writing; to efface; to destroy all trace of.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Hooker to this entry?)
- (intransitive) To be converted, as dough, into a light, spongy mass by the agency of yeast or leaven.
to take advantage of others
to clean with a sponge