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 sponge (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 Because of it’s high fat content, cheese absorbs smoke like a sponge, maybe even more than meat does. Chuck Blount, San Antonio Express-News, "How to make cold-smoked cheese at home, because it's easy, saves you money and adds flavor to your cheese tray," 12 Apr. 2021 Hyaluronic acid is a water-binding humectant that's found naturally in our skin and can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water (kind of like a sponge). Sydney Poe, chicagotribune.com, "How to hydrate skin," 4 Apr. 2021 These have a cup pocket and feature a 100% sponge pad, which will protect against abrasions on the thigh or glute. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Sliding Shorts," 24 Mar. 2021 Such staffers often have the most extensive patient contact, tending to their IVs and turning them in hospital beds; brushing their hair and sponge-bathing them in nursing homes. Christina Jewett, CNN, "Cough more hazardous to Covid-19 medical workers than intubation, research suggests," 12 Mar. 2021 Over the years, residents of the Florida Keys have prospered from farming, shipwreck salvage, sponge fishing, commercial fishing (the second-largest industry in the Keys today) and tourism, the primary economic driver of the area. Tracey Minkin, Travel + Leisure, "Florida Keys Travel Guide," 2 Mar. 2021 This Infallible foundation comes in a powder compact with an included sponge applicator, and the formula is designed to go on smooth like liquid coverage without cakiness. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, "The New L'Oréal Infallible Powder Foundation Is Sold Out Basically Everywhere—Because Shoppers Are Obsessed," 19 Feb. 2021 Barnett said the officers fired a 40mm sponge round in an attempt to stop the man. Henri Hollis, ajc, "Police: Man fatally shot by Athens officers after standoff over stolen car," 18 Feb. 2021 In either case, sweep dust out of the joints with a clean plastic brush, then wipe the surface with a damp sponge or clean cloth and let dry. Roy Berendson, Popular Mechanics, "6 Bathroom Renovations You Can Tackle Without a Contractor," 13 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Instead, gently dab stains with a cleaning solution and a clean cloth, paper towel, or sponge. Brett Martin, Popular Mechanics, "10 Carpet-Cleaning Secrets From the Pros," 9 Apr. 2021 Then, spritz or sponge with cold water to rinse and blot until dry. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "How to Remove Red Wine Stains From Clothes, Carpets and More," 29 Mar. 2021 Using a clean, white cloth, sponge the stain with the mixture. Lauren Smith Mcdonough, Good Housekeeping, "How to Remove Coffee Stains From Your Carpet, Clothes, and Just About Everything Else," 29 Mar. 2021 Wipe down doors with a squeegee, sponge or dry cloth after every shower. oregonlive, "Get your bathroom sparkling with these spring cleaning tips and tricks," 25 Mar. 2021 For cleaning Sunbrella’s outdoor pillows or cushions, take out the insert and hand-wash the fabric in a mixture of dish or mild soap, such as Dawn or Woolite, and water, using a soft-bristle brush or sponge to work on stains. Washington Post, "Our homes have taken a beating over the past year. Here’s how to undo the damage.," 25 Mar. 2021 Use saddle bar soap or paste and a small amount of water to create a lather and sponge it over the saddle. Jennifer Blair, chicagotribune.com, "The best horse saddle," 22 Mar. 2021 By the time his first customer arrived to pick up her food, Nguyen, bucket and sponge in hand, was just beginning to scrub the graffiti on the patio tables. Washington Post, "An Asian American chef slammed Texas for lifting its mask mandate. Then racist graffiti hit his shop.," 15 Mar. 2021 Almost four weeks since the Texas arctic blast began on Valentine’s Day, his apartment is still a mess, especially the bathroom where a wall turned to sponge from a water leak and exposed the timber. Dianne Solis, Dallas News, "Texas storm recovery for renters like this Dallas man is hard-fought," 12 Mar. 2021

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

16 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Sponge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sponge. Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for sponge

sponge

noun

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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More from Merriam-Webster on sponge

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for sponge

Nglish: Translation of sponge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about sponge

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