plume

noun
\ ˈplüm How to pronounce plume (audio) \

Definition of plume

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a feather of a bird: such as
a : a large conspicuous or showy feather
c : plumage
d : a cluster of distinctive feathers
2a : 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

plume

verb
plumed; pluming

Definition of plume (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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)

Illustration of plume

Illustration of plume

Noun

P plume 2a

In the meaning defined above

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Photos shared to Twitter show the boat lying on its side as plumes of smoke pour out of its sides. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "4 Crew Members Missing After Cargo Vessel Overturns and Catches Fire Near Georgia Coast," 8 Sep. 2019 Operators are also using thermal imaging cameras that can see invisible plumes of methane and other hydrocarbon gases. Wired, "The EPA Says Methane Rules Are Bad for Industry—It's Wrong," 30 Aug. 2019 In June, a massive plume of Saharan dust made its way from Africa to the Sunshine State, bringing hazy skies and vibrant sunsets while warding off storms. USA TODAY, "Emoji house, Saharan dust, turtle crossing: News from around our 50 states," 8 Aug. 2019 Huge black plumes waft from power plants, and smoke drifts too from the chimneys of apartment buildings, supermarkets, and schools where maintenance men heap coal into big boilers. Beth Gardiner, National Geographic, "Kids suffer most in one of Earth's most polluted cities," 26 Mar. 2019 Huge black plumes of smoke from burning tires engulfed the border area. NBC News, "4 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in Gaza border protest," 21 Apr. 2018 Alix Klineman, left, and April Ross are photographed before practice in Hermosa Beach in preparation for the AVP Manhattan Beach Open on Tuesday.(Christina House / Los Angeles Times) Tiny plumes of sand kicked up as Alix Klineman charged the net. Los Angeles Times, "Alix Klineman’s transition to beach volleyball has been everything she and April Ross could have hoped for," 15 Aug. 2019 The leak sent gas plumes billowing into the air and into surrounding fields. Washington Post, "World Digest: Aug. 2, 2019," 2 Aug. 2019 As fascinating as Titan is, the small moon Enceladus has grabbed some astronomical headlines recently because the Cassini has photographed water plumes shooting from cracks in the moon’s surface. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: The second-prettiest planet — next to Earth, of course — is on the rise," 28 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Patrick still painted, filling the family home with idyllic landscapes: a single cabin in the mountains with smoke pluming from its chimney, or a lone figure in a canoe paddling through the wilderness. Alex Perry, Outside Online, "The Last Days of John Allen Chau," 24 July 2019 While the video describes that the engine fire test duration went as expected, fire continued to burn around the Starhopper until a massive fireball exploded around it a few minutes after pluming up high over the test area into the night sky. Richard Tribou, orlandosentinel.com, "Video shows SpaceX Starhopper engulfed in fireball during test," 15 July 2019 Ash plumes shooting thousands of feet into the sky from the summit have raised concerns about air quality. Heidi Chang, latimes.com, "Evacuations ordered in Hawaii as fast-moving lava threatens neighborhoods," 1 June 2018 Winds blew much of the 30,000-foot (9,100-meter) plume away from people. Fox News, "The Latest: No end in sight for Hawaii's erupting volcano," 18 May 2018 An early morning 18-wheeler crash Sunday (May 13) on eastbound Interstate 10 in St. Martin Parish has left lanes closed and smoke pluming into the air, according to Louisiana State Police. Hanna Krueger, NOLA.com, "I-10 east closed in St. Martin Parish after 18-wheeler crash: State Police," 13 May 2018 This occurred when exhaust plumes from the Falcon 9 rocket's second stage depleted plasma levels across a 900-km wide area, which the scientists say probably caused about a 1-meter error in GPS navigation programs. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "SpaceX launch last year punched huge, temporary hole in the ionosphere," 22 Mar. 2018 Heavy black smoke plumed from the building by the time fire crews arrived. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Fryer sparks overnight fire at Houston tofu maker's warehouse," 10 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plume.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plume

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

History and Etymology for plume

Noun

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

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Statistics for plume

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plume

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

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More Definitions for plume

plume

noun

English Language Learners Definition of plume

: 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

plume

noun
\ ˈplüm How to pronounce plume (audio) \

Kids Definition of plume

1 : a large or showy feather of a bird
2 : an ornamental feather or tuft of feathers (as on a hat)
3 : something shaped like a large feather a plume of smoke

Other Words from plume

plumed \ ˈplümd \ adjective a plumed cap

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More from Merriam-Webster on plume

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plume

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plume

Spanish Central: Translation of plume

Nglish: Translation of plume for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plume for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about plume

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