plume

1 of 2

noun

1
: a feather of a bird: such as
a
: a large conspicuous or showy feather
c
d
: a cluster of distinctive feathers
2
a
: material (such as a feather, cluster of feathers, or a tuft of hair) worn as an ornament
b
: a token of honor or prowess : prize
3
: something resembling a feather (as in shape, appearance, or lightness): such 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

Illustration of plume

Illustration of plume
  • P plume 2a

plume

2 of 2

verb

plumed; pluming

transitive verb

1
a
: to provide or deck with feathers
b
: to array showily
2
: to indulge (oneself) in pride with an obvious or vain display of self-satisfaction
3
of a bird
a
: to preen and arrange the feathers of (itself)
b
: to preen and arrange (feathers)

Examples of plume in a Sentence

Noun a hat with bright ostrich plumes the Nobel Prize for Literature is the plume that all authors covet Verb that jerk plumes himself on his supposed athletic skills
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The other, a dress in a similar style, shows an eagle plume alongside distinctly modern guns, soldiers and U.S. flags. Ella Feldman, Smithsonian Magazine, 3 July 2024 Photos and video posted to social media by the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office showed a huge plume of dark smoke rising over homes and forest. Jeanine Santucci, USA TODAY, 26 June 2024
Verb
Not just the confetti, but also pyro in the form of fireballs pluming out from the sides of the stage and sparks showering down from the tops of it. Théoden Janes, Charlotte Observer, 30 Jan. 2024 High above her a column of black smoke plumed over the trees. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 3 May 2023 See all Example Sentences for plume 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plume.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin pluma small soft feather — more at fleece

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of plume was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near plume

Cite this Entry

“Plume.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plume. Accessed 21 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

plume

1 of 2 noun
1
: a feather of a bird
especially : one that is large and showy
2
a
: a feather or tuft of feathers worn as an ornament (as on a hat)
b
: a deserved prize or reward
3
: something that resembles a feather (as in shape or lightness)
a plume of smoke
plumy
ˈplü-mē
adjective

plume

2 of 2 verb
plumed; pluming
1
: to provide or adorn with feathers
2
: to act with too much pride in oneself
plumed himself on his swimming skill
3
: to arrange the feathers of : preen
a bird pluming itself

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