See also: plumé, plūme, and plūmē

English edit

Pronunciation edit

A woman’s hat adorned with ostrich plumes (noun sense 1).
A Life Guard on sentry duty at Whitehall in London, England, UK, wearing a ceremonial helmet with a plume (noun sense 2) known as a hackle.
The vane, or flattened, web-like part, of a feather is called a plume (sense 4), especially when on a quill pen.
A plume of smoke (noun sense 6.1) seen during the Pioneer Fire in Boise National Forest near Idaho City, Idaho, USA, on July 18, 2016.
The furry tail of some dog breeds such as the Samoyed is called a plume (noun sense 6.6.1)

Etymology 1 edit

From Late Middle English plum, plume (feather; plumage),[1] from Anglo-Norman plum, plume and Middle French, Old French plume, plome (plumage; down used for stuffing pillows, etc.; pen, quill) (modern French plume (feather; pen, quill; pen nib; (figurative) writer)), and directly from its etymon Latin plūma (feather; plumage; down) (compare Late Latin plūma (pen, quill)),[2] from Proto-Italic *plouksmā, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- (to fly; to flow; to run; to flap with hands; to splash).

The English word is a doublet of pluma.

Noun edit

plume (plural plumes)

  1. (archaic, literary and poetic) A feather of a bird, especially a large or showy one used as a decoration.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book III”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC, lines 650–654:
      Under a Coronet his flowing haire / In curles on either cheek plaid, wings he wore / Of many a colourd plume ſprinkl'd with Gold, / His habit fit for ſpeed ſuccinct, and held / Before his decent ſteps a Silver wand.
    • 1764 December 24 (indicated as 1765), Onuphrio Muralto, translated by William Marshal [pseudonyms; Horace Walpole], chapter I, in The Castle of Otranto, [], London: [] Tho[mas] Lownds [], →OCLC, pages 4–5:
      The firſt thing that ſtruck Manfred’s eyes was a groupe of his ſervants endeavouring to raiſe ſomething that appeared to him a mountain of ſable plumes. [] [W]hat a ſight for a father’s eyes!—he beheld his child daſhed to pieces, and almoſt buried under an enormous helmet, an hundred times more large than any caſque ever made for human being, and ſhaded with a proportionable quantity of black feathers.
    • 2020 August 4, Richard Conniff, “They may Look Goofy, but Ostriches are Nobody’s Fool”, in National Geographic[1], Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, →ISSN, →OCLC, archived from the original on 9 October 2020:
      [T]he most valuable cargo carried by the Titanic wasn't diamonds or gold but 12 cases of ostrich plumes valued at $2.3 million in today's money.
    • 1845 February, — Quarles [pseudonym; Edgar Allan Poe], “The Raven”, in The American Review[2], volume I, number II, New York, N.Y., London: Wiley & Putnam, [], →OCLC:
      Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
  2. (archaic, literary and poetic) A cluster of feathers worn as an ornament, especially on a helmet; a hackle.
    • a. 1701 (date written), John Dryden, “The Last Parting of Hector and Andromache. From the Sixth Book of the Iliad.”, in The Miscellaneous Works of John Dryden, [], volume IV, London: [] J[acob] and R[ichard] Tonson, [], published 1760, →OCLC, page 455:
      The fearful infant turn'd his head away, / And on his nurſe's neck reclining lay, / His unknown father ſhunning with affright, / And looking back on ſo uncouth a ſight; / Daunted to ſee a face with ſteel o'er-ſpread, / And his high plume that nodded o'er his head.
  3. (figurative) A token of honour or prowess; that on which one prides oneself; a prize or reward.
    Synonym: feather in one's cap
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book VI”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC, lines 159–162:
      But well thou comſt / Before thy fellows, ambitious to win / From me ſom Plume, that thy ſucceſs may ſhow / Deſtruction to the reſt: [...]
  4. The vane (flattened, web-like part) of a feather, especially when on a quill pen or the fletching of an arrow.
  5. Short for plume moth (a small, slender moth of the family Pterophoridae).
  6. Things resembling a feather.
    • 2017, BioWare, Mass Effect: Andromeda (Science Fiction), Redwood City: Electronic Arts, →OCLC, PC, scene: Elaaden Codex entry:
      Tidal gravitational effects cause plumes of sodium silicate to erupt from Elaaden's core, depositing unusually pure silicon sand across the surface—invaluable for manufacturing high-performance computer hardware.
    1. A cloud formed by a dispersed substance fanning out or spreading.
      After the explosion, a plume of smoke could be seen in the sky for miles around.
      The pollutant creates a contaminant plume within an aquifer.
    2. An upward spray of mist or water.
    3. (astronomy) An arc of glowing material (chiefly gases) erupting from the surface of a star.
    4. (botany) A large and flexible panicle of an inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain large ornamental grasses.
    5. (geology) Short for mantle plume (an upwelling of abnormally hot molten material from the Earth's mantle which spreads sideways when it reaches the lithosphere).
    6. (zoology) A body part resembling a feather.
      1. The furry tail of certain dog breeds (such as the Samoyed) that curls over their backs or stands erect.
      2. More fully gill plume: a feathery gill of some crustaceans and molluscs.
Derived terms edit
Related terms edit
Translations edit

Etymology 2 edit

Sense 1 (“to adorn, cover, or furnish with feathers or plumes”) is derived from Anglo-Norman plumer (to cover with or provide with feathers), or its etymon Latin plūmāre, the present active infinitive of plūmō (to grow feathers, to fledge; to cover with feathers, to feather; to embroider with a feathery pattern) (and compare Late Latin plūmō (to attach feathers to arrows; of a hawk: to pluck the feathers from prey; (figurative) to celebrate, praise)), from plūma (feather; plumage; down) (see etymology 1)[3] + (suffix forming regular first-conjugation verbs).

Senses 2–4 (“to arrange and preen the feathers of; to congratulate (oneself) proudly; to strip of feathers”) are from Late Middle English plumen (to remove the feathers from a bird; of a hawk: to pluck the feathers or the head from prey) [and other forms],[4] from Anglo-Norman and Middle French plumer (to remove the feathers from a bird; to pull out (hairs, especially from a moustache); to rob), from plūma (see etymology 1).[3]

Sense 5 (“to fan out or spread in a cloud”) is derived from plume (noun).[3]

Verb edit

plume (third-person singular simple present plumes, present participle pluming, simple past and past participle plumed)

  1. (transitive, also figurative) To adorn, cover, or furnish with feathers or plumes, or as if with feathers or plumes.
    Synonyms: feather, fledge
  2. (transitive, reflexive) Chiefly of a bird: to arrange and preen the feathers of, specifically in preparation for flight; hence (figurative), to prepare for (something).
  3. (transitive, reflexive, by extension) To congratulate (oneself) proudly, especially concerning something unimportant or when taking credit for another person's effort; to self-congratulate.
    He plumes himself on his skill.
    • 1692–1717, Robert South, Twelve Sermons Preached upon Several Occasions, 6th edition, volumes (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: [] J[ames] Bettenham, for Jonah Bowyer, [], published 1727, →OCLC:
      pride and plume himself in his Deformities
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, “The Adventure of a Company of Officers”, in The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume III, London: A[ndrew] Millar, [], →OCLC, book VII, page 102:
      We mention this Obſervation, not with any View of pretending to account for ſo odd a Behaviour, but lest ſome Critic should hereafter plume himſelf on diſcovering it.
    • 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave Three. The Second of the Three Spirits.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, [], →OCLC, page 75:
      Gentlemen of the free-and-easy sort, who plume themselves on being acquainted with a move or two, and being usually equal to the time-of-day, express the wide range of their capacity for adventure by observing that they are good for anything from pitch-and-toss to manslaughter; between which opposite extremes, no doubt, there lies a tolerably wide and comprehensive range of subjects.
    • 1853 November–December, Herman Melville, “Bartleby”, in Billy Budd and Other Stories, London: John Lehmann, published 1951, →OCLC, page 37:
      I could not but highly plume myself on my masterly management in getting rid of Bartleby.
    • 1856, Homer, “Book XVIII”, in F[rancis] W[illiam] Newman, transl., The Iliad of Homer: Faithfully Translated into Unrhymed English Meter, London: Walton and Maberly, [], →OCLC, page 322, lines 130–133:
      But now thy armour beauteous, / all brass-belaid and sparkling, / Among the Troïans is held: / for motley-helmed Hector / Across his shoulders bearing it / plumeth himself; nor deem I / Long shall he vaunt it; sith alsó / on him o'erhangeth slaughter.
    • 1883, Howard Pyle, “How Sir Richard of the Lea Paid His Debts to Emmet”, in The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood [], New York, N.Y.: [] Charles Scribner’s Sons [], →OCLC, part fifth, page 180:
      Meanwhile the young stranger had made his way through the crowd, but, as he passed, he heard all around him such words muttered as, "Look at the cockeril!" "Behold how he plumeth himself!"
    • 1929, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Disintegration Machine[3]:
      Challenger plumed himself like some unwieldy bird under the influence of flattery.
  4. (transitive, archaic) To strip (a bird) of feathers; to pluck.
    Synonym: unplume
    1. (by extension) To peel, to strip completely; to pillage; also, to deprive of power.
    2. (falconry, obsolete) Of a hawk: to pluck the feathers from prey.
  5. (intransitive) Of a dispersed substance such as dust or smoke: to fan out or spread in a cloud.
    Smoke plumed from his pipe, then slowly settled towards the floor.
Conjugation edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit

References edit

  1. ^ plū̆m(e, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^
    plume, n.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2006
    ; “plume, n.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2
    plume, v.”, in OED Online  , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2006
    ; “plume, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  4. ^ plū̆men, v.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.

Further reading edit

French edit

 
plume (1)
 
plumes (3)

Etymology edit

Inherited from Old French plume, from Latin plūma.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

plume f (plural plumes)

  1. feather
  2. quill
  3. nib, the writing end of a fountain pen or a dip pen
  4. (dated) writer, penman

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • English: plume
  • Rade: plim
  • Swedish: plym

Verb edit

plume

  1. inflection of plumer:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative

Further reading edit

Friulian edit

Etymology edit

From Latin plūma.

Noun edit

plume f (plural plumis)

  1. plume, feather
    Synonym: pene

Old English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Proto-West Germanic *plūmā, from Latin prūnum.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

plūme f

  1. plum

Declension edit

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

Old French edit

Etymology edit

From Latin plūma.

Noun edit

plume oblique singularf (oblique plural plumes, nominative singular plume, nominative plural plumes)

  1. feather; plume

Descendants edit