EnglishEdit

 
A marine sponge (1) can be used as a washing sponge (2)
 
Synthetic washing sponge (2)
 
A sponge cake (5)
 
Contraceptive sponge (8)

EtymologyEdit

From Old English spunge, taken from Latin spongia, from Ancient Greek σπογγιά (spongiá), related to σπόγγος (spóngos).

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: spŭnj, IPA(key): /spʌnd͡ʒ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌndʒ

NounEdit

sponge (countable and uncountable, plural sponges)

  1. (countable) Any of various marine invertebrates, mostly of the phylum Porifera, that have a porous skeleton often of silica.
    Synonyms: sea sponge, bath sponge, poriferan, porifer
  2. (countable) A piece of porous material used for washing (originally made from the invertebrates, now often made of plastic).
    Synonym: bath sponge
    • 1913, Robert Barr, chapter 5, in Lord Stranleigh Abroad[1]:
      She removed Stranleigh’s coat with a dexterity that aroused his imagination. The elder woman returned with dressings and a sponge, which she placed on a chair.
  3. (uncountable) A porous material such as sponges consist of.
  4. (informal) A heavy drinker.
    Synonyms: souse, swill-pot; see also Thesaurus:drunkard
  5. (countable, uncountable) A type of light cake.
    Synonym: sponge cake
  6. (countable, uncountable, Britain) A type of steamed pudding.
    Synonym: sponge pudding
  7. (slang) A person who takes advantage of the generosity of others (abstractly imagined to absorb or soak up the money or efforts of others like a sponge).
    Synonyms: freeloader, sponger; see also Thesaurus:scrounger
  8. (countable) A form of contraception that is inserted vaginally; a contraceptive sponge.
  9. Any sponge-like substance.
    1. (baking) Dough before it is kneaded and formed into loaves, and after it is converted into a light, spongy mass by the agency of the yeast or leaven.
    2. Iron from the puddling furnace, in a pasty condition.
    3. Iron ore, in masses, reduced but not melted or worked.
  10. A mop for cleaning the bore of a cannon after a discharge. It consists of a cylinder of wood, covered with sheepskin with the wool on, or cloth with a heavy looped nap, and having a handle, or staff.
  11. The extremity, or point, of a horseshoe, corresponding to the heel.
  12. (slang) A nuclear power plant worker routinely exposed to radiation.

Derived termsEdit

DescendantsEdit

  • Hindi: स्पंज (spañj)
  • Japanese: スポンジ (suponji)
  • Korean: 스펀지 (seupeonji)
  • Pashto: سپنج(spanj)
  • Welsh: spynj

TranslationsEdit

See alsoEdit

VerbEdit

sponge (third-person singular simple present sponges, present participle sponging, simple past and past participle sponged)

  1. (intransitive, slang) To take advantage of the kindness of others.
    He has been sponging off his friends for a month now.
  2. (transitive, intransitive with on or upon) To get by imposition; to scrounge.
    Synonym: blag
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 13, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “[…] They talk of you as if you were Croesus—and I expect the beggars sponge on you unconscionably.” And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes.
      (Can we find and add a quotation of Jonathan Swift to this entry?)
    to sponge a breakfast
  3. (transitive) To deprive (somebody) of something by imposition.
    • 1698, Robert South, Twelve Sermons upon Several Subjects and Occasions
      How came such multitudes of our nation [] to be sponged of their plate and their money?
  4. To clean, soak up, or dab with a sponge.
  5. To suck in, or imbibe, like a sponge.
  6. To wipe out with a sponge, as letters or writing; to efface; to destroy all trace of.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Hooker to this entry?)
  7. (intransitive, baking) To be converted, as dough, into a light, spongy mass by the agency of yeast or leaven.

TranslationsEdit

Further readingEdit

AnagramsEdit