sponge

noun
\ ˈspənj How to pronounce sponge (audio) \

Definition of sponge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 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
2 : a pad (as of folded gauze) used in surgery and medicine (as to remove discharge)
3 : one who lives on others
4a : 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 (such as platinum) obtained in porous form usually by reduction without fusion titanium sponge
d : the egg mass of a crab
5 : an absorbent contraceptive device that is impregnated with spermicide and inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse to cover the cervix

sponge

verb
sponged; sponging

Definition of sponge (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cleanse, wipe, or moisten with or as if with a sponge
2 : to erase or destroy with or as if with a sponge often used with out
3 : to get by sponging on another
4 : to absorb with or as if with or in the manner of a sponge

intransitive verb

1 : to absorb, soak up, or imbibe like a sponge
2 : to get something from or live on another by imposing on hospitality or good nature sponged off of her sister
3 : to dive or dredge for sponges

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Other Words from sponge

Noun

spongelike \ ˈspənj-​ˌlīk How to pronounce spongelike (audio) \ adjective

Verb

sponger noun

Choose the Right Synonym for sponge

Noun

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

Examples of sponge in a Sentence

Noun finally told the sponge to move out of their house and to get a job Verb She sponged up the spilt milk. He sponged off his face. She sponged the dirt off her shirt. She always sponges meals from us.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Any hints for me? Jan: first, mix equal parts baking soda and water to make a paste and apply it on the surface of your pan with a soft sponge or cloth. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Drying out the cash stash," 13 Nov. 2020 Then apply the mix to your skin or your pet’s coat with a sponge or washcloth. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "Striped skunks: these little stinkers also help keep pests under control around San Antonio homes and are sweet and docile," 27 Oct. 2020 To use Pine-Sol as a disinfectant against coronavirus, the cleaner should be applied full-strength with a clean sponge or cloth on a hard, non-porous surface. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Pine-Sol cleaner approved for killing COVID," 22 Sep. 2020 To disinfect against coronavirus, the company said customers should apply full-strength Pine-Sol with a clean sponge or cloth on a surface, wait 10 minutes, then rinse. Alaa Elassar, CNN, "Pine-Sol cleaner has been approved to kill coronavirus on hard surfaces," 20 Sep. 2020 The company recommends using Pine-Sol Original Multi-Surface Cleaner at full strength and applying it with a clean sponge or cloth to hard, nonporous surfaces. Benjamin Vanhoose, PEOPLE.com, "Pine-Sol Added to EPA's List of Disinfectants Effective Against Coronavirus," 16 Sep. 2020 First, dry-dust the walls floor to ceiling and scrub any extra-grimy parts with a wet sponge or cloth; paint won't adhere as well to a dirty surface (think fingerprints, soot, dust, cobwebs). Stacy Genovese, Good Housekeeping, "How to Paint a Room in One Day," 10 Sep. 2020 When done sanding, wipe the dust off the drop cloth with a damp sponge, then clean the surrounding areas with a shop vacuum fitted with a HEPA filter. Joseph Truini And Merle Henkenius, Popular Mechanics, "How to Repair Drywall: Common Ways to Fix Damaged Walls," 18 Aug. 2020 When dry, Swedish dishcloths feel slightly stiff and sponge-like, so be sure to dampen them slightly before use. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "These Reusable Paper Towels Made Me Swear Off the Paper Version Forever," 6 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Doing it yourself with a bucket, sponge and garden hose may appeal to your self-reliant instincts, but it’s not the green way to go. Paul Stenquist, New York Times, "7 Things to Know About Your Used Car," 26 Sep. 2020 Use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe down the outside of the main unit. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "How to Clean Your Air Fryer to Remove Baked-On Food and Grease," 8 Sep. 2020 The group accused police of mishandling a litany of less-lethal devices, including sting-ball grenades, rubber pellets, and sponge rounds. Kevin Mccoy, USA TODAY, "'Protests shouldn’t end in people being blinded': Cities, states begin to ban police use of rubber bullets," 4 Sep. 2020 The simulations showed how amoebas sponge up the purple acid and then follow whatever path still has acid flowing toward them. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "A Mini Version of Britain’s Royal Hedge Maze Is No Match for Amoebas," 1 Sep. 2020 After a standoff, the paper said police fired tear gas, sponge rounds and pepper spray. Fox News, "Jacob Blake case: Madison protests turn to looting, unrest in second night following Kenosha police shooting," 25 Aug. 2020 If the plates are built-in, use a damp cloth or sponge to wipe them clean. Jennifer Blair, chicagotribune.com, "The best breakfast sandwich maker," 11 Aug. 2020 When the stain is gone, sponge the area with a damp cloth to rinse and remove all traces of the cleaner. Lauren Smith Mcdonough, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean Your Mattress Quickly and Easily," 1 June 2020 Encourage the individual to shower, bathe or sponge off with cool water. Leah Groth, Health.com, "What is Hyperthermia? Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments You Need to Know," 23 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sponge.' 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 sponge

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for sponge

Noun

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

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Time Traveler for sponge

Time Traveler

The first known use of sponge was before the 12th century

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Statistics for sponge

Last Updated

29 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sponge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sponge. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for sponge

sponge

noun
How to pronounce sponge (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sponge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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
informal + disapproving : someone who gets something from someone else without doing or paying anything in return

sponge

verb

English Language Learners Definition of sponge (Entry 2 of 2)

: to clean or wipe (something) with a sponge
: to put (paint) on a surface with a sponge
informal + disapproving : to get money, food, etc., from (someone) without doing or paying anything in return

sponge

noun
\ ˈspənj How to pronounce sponge (audio) \

Kids Definition of sponge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a water animal that lives permanently attached to a solid surface (as the ocean bottom) and has a simple body of loosely connected cells with a skeleton supported by stiff fibers or hard particles
2 : a piece of springy absorbent material that forms the skeleton of a sponge or is manufactured and that is used for cleaning
3 : a pad of folded gauze used in surgery and medicine

sponge

verb
sponged; sponging

Kids Definition of sponge (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to clean or wipe with a sponge
2 : to get something or live at the expense of another sponge off friends

sponge

noun
\ ˈspənj How to pronounce sponge (audio) \

Medical Definition of sponge

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 liquid
2a : a small pad made of multiple folds of gauze or of cotton and gauze used to mop blood from a surgical incision, to carry inhalant medicaments to the nose, or to cover a superficial wound as a dressing
b : a porous dressing (as of fibrin or gelatin) applied to promote wound healing
c : a plastic prosthesis used in chest cavities following lung surgery
3 : an absorbent contraceptive device impregnated with spermicide that is inserted into the vagina before sexual intercourse to cover the cervix and act as a barrier to sperm
sponged; sponging

Medical Definition of sponge (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cleanse, wipe, or moisten with or as if with a sponge sponge the patient's back

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