noun \ˈspənj\

: 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

a (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 sponge
b :  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
:  a pad (as of folded gauze) used in surgery and medicine (as to remove discharge)
:  one who lives on others
a :  a soft mixture of yeast, liquid, and flour that is allowed to rise and then mixed with additional ingredients to create bread dough
b :  a whipped dessert usually containing whites of eggs or gelatin
c :  a metal (as platinum) obtained in porous form usually by reduction without fusion <titanium sponge>
d :  the egg mass of a crab
:  an absorbent contraceptive device that is impregnated with spermicide and inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse to cover the cervix
sponge·like \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

Other Invertebrates (Except Insects) Terms

anemone, cephalopod, quahog

Rhymes with 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

transitive verb
:  to cleanse, wipe, or moisten with or as if with a sponge
:  to erase or destroy with or as if with a sponge —often used with out
:  to get by sponging on another
:  to absorb with or as if with or in the manner of a sponge
intransitive verb
:  to absorb, soak up, or imbibe like a sponge
:  to get something from or live on another by imposing on hospitality or good nature <sponged off of her sister>
:  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.

First Known Use of SPONGE

14th century


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

A simple saclike sponge. Its surface is perforated by small openings (incurrent pores) formed by …—Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

Any of some 5,000 species (phylum Porifera) of permanently affixed (sessile), mostly marine, solitary or colonial invertebrates, found from shallow to deep (more than 30,000 ft, or 9,000 m) waters. Simple sponges are hollow cylinders with a large opening at the top through which water and wastes are expelled. A thin, perforated outer epidermal layer covers a porous skeleton, which is composed of interlocking spicules of calcium carbonate, silica, or spongin (found in 80% of all sponges), a proteinaceous material. The body, ranging in diameter or length from 1 in. (2.5 cm) to several yards, may be fingerlike, treelike, or a shapeless mass. Sponges lack organs and specialized tissue; flagellated cells move water into the central cavity through the perforations, and individual cells digest food (bacteria, other microorganisms, and organic debris), excrete waste, and absorb oxygen. Sponges can reproduce asexually or sexually. Larval forms are free-swimming but all adults are sessile. Since antiquity, sponges have been harvested for use in holding water, bathing, and scrubbing; because of overharvesting and newer technologies, most sponges sold today are synthetic.


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