noun \ˈplüm\

: a feather or group of feathers on a bird

: a decoration made of feathers or something similar

: something (such as smoke, steam, or water) that rises into the air in a tall, thin shape

Full Definition of PLUME

:  a feather of a bird: as
a :  a large conspicuous or showy feather
b :  contour feather
c :  plumage
d :  a cluster of distinctive feathers
a :  material (as a feather, cluster of feathers, or a tuft of hair) worn as an ornament
b :  a token of honor or prowess :  prize
:  something resembling a feather (as in shape, appearance, or lightness): as
a :  a plumose appendage of a plant
b :  an elongated and usually open and mobile column or band (as of smoke, exhaust gases, or blowing snow)
c :  an animal structure having a main shaft bearing many hairs or filamentous parts; especially :  a full bushy tail
d :  any of several columns of molten rock rising from the earth's lower mantle that are theorized to drive tectonic plate movement and to underlie hot spots

Examples of PLUME

  1. a hat with bright ostrich plumes
  2. <the Nobel Prize for Literature is the plume that all authors covet>

Illustration of PLUME

Origin of PLUME

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin pluma small soft feather — more at fleece
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale



Definition of PLUME

transitive verb
a :  to provide or deck with feathers
b :  to array showily
:  to indulge (oneself) in pride with an obvious or vain display of self-satisfaction
of a bird
a :  to preen and arrange the feathers of (itself)
b :  to preen and arrange (feathers)

Examples of PLUME

  1. <that jerk plumes himself on his supposed athletic skills>

First Known Use of PLUME

15th century

Other Birds Terms

aerie, bunting, clutch, covey, hackle, ratite, rictus, ruff, skein, zygodactyl
PLUME Defined for Kids


noun \ˈplüm\

Definition of PLUME for Kids

:  a large or showy feather of a bird
:  an ornamental feather or tuft of feathers (as on a hat)
:  something shaped like a large feather <a plume of smoke>
plumed \ˈplümd\ adjective <a plumed cap>
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears