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noun \ˈspənj\

Simple Definition of sponge

  • : a piece of light natural or artificial material that becomes soft when it is wet, is able to take in and hold liquid, and is used for washing or cleaning

  • : a type of sea animal from which natural sponges are made

  • : someone who gets something from someone else without doing or paying anything in return

Full Definition of sponge

  1. 1a (1) :  an elastic porous mass of interlacing horny fibers that forms the internal skeleton of various marine animals (phylum Porifera) and is able when wetted to absorb water (2) :  a piece of sponge (as for scrubbing) (3) :  a porous rubber or cellulose product used similarly to a spongeb :  any of a phylum (Porifera) of aquatic chiefly marine simple invertebrate animals that have a double-walled body of loosely aggregated cells with a skeleton supported by spicules or spongin and are filter feeders that are sessile as adults

  2. 2 :  a pad (as of folded gauze) used in surgery and medicine (as to remove discharge)

  3. 3 :  one who lives on others

  4. 4a :  a soft mixture of yeast, liquid, and flour that is allowed to rise and then mixed with additional ingredients to create bread doughb :  a whipped dessert usually containing whites of eggs or gelatinc :  a metal (as platinum) obtained in porous form usually by reduction without fusion <titanium sponge>d :  the egg mass of a crab

  5. 5 :  an absorbent contraceptive device that is impregnated with spermicide and inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse to cover the cervix

sponge·like play \ˈspənj-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of sponge

  1. <finally told the sponge to move out of their house and to get a job>

Origin of sponge

Middle English, from Old English, from Latin spongia, from Greek

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of sponge

parasite, sycophant, toady, leech, sponge mean a usually obsequious flatterer or self-seeker. parasite applies to one who clings to a person of wealth, power, or influence or is useless to society <a jet-setter with an entourage of parasites>. sycophant adds to this a strong suggestion of fawning, flattery, or adulation <a powerful prince surrounded by sycophants>. toady emphasizes the servility and snobbery of the self-seeker <cultivated leaders of society and became their toady>. leech stresses persistence in clinging to or bleeding another for one's own advantage <a leech living off his family and friends>. sponge stresses the parasitic laziness, dependence, and opportunism of the cadger <a shiftless sponge, always looking for a handout>.

Other Invertebrates (Except Insects) Terms

Rhymes with sponge




Simple Definition of sponge

  • : to clean or wipe (something) with a sponge

  • : to put (paint) on a surface with a sponge

  • : to get money, food, etc., from (someone) without doing or paying anything in return

Full Definition of sponge


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cleanse, wipe, or moisten with or as if with a sponge

  3. 2 :  to erase or destroy with or as if with a sponge —often used with out

  4. 3 :  to get by sponging on another

  5. 4 :  to absorb with or as if with or in the manner of a sponge

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to absorb, soak up, or imbibe like a sponge

  8. 2 :  to get something from or live on another by imposing on hospitality or good nature <sponged off of her sister>

  9. 3 :  to dive or dredge for sponges

spong·er noun

Examples of sponge

  1. She sponged up the spilt milk.

  2. He sponged off his face.

  3. She sponged the dirt off her shirt.

  4. She always sponges meals from us.

14th Century

First Known Use of sponge

14th century

Seen and Heard

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February 9, 2016

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