noun oa·kum \ˈō-kəm\

Definition of oakum

  1. :  loosely twisted hemp or jute fiber impregnated with tar or a tar derivative and used in caulking seams and packing joints

Origin and Etymology of oakum

Middle English okum, from Old English ācumba tow, from ā- (separative & perfective prefix) + -cumba (akin to Old English camb comb) — more at abide

First Known Use: 15th century

Learn More about oakum

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up oakum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).