1 [kohm]
a toothed strip of plastic, hard rubber, bone, wood, or metal, used for arranging the hair, untangling it, or holding it in place.
any comblike instrument, object, or formation.
the fleshy, more or less serrated outgrowth on the head of certain gallinaceous birds, especially the domestic fowl.
something resembling or suggesting this, as the crest of a wave.
a honeycomb, or any similar group of cells.
a machine for separating choice cotton or wool fibers from noil.
a comblike instrument for imparting a grainlike finish to a painted surface.
Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. a ridge of a roof.
a series of springlike prongs projecting from a spine, usually of plastic, for making a loose-leaf binding.
a trowel having a notched edge for applying adhesives in setting tiles or the like.
Armor. a ridge along the top of a helmet, especially of the morion.
Masonry. drag ( def 30 ).
the upper edge of the buttstock of a rifle or shotgun.
verb (used with object)
to arrange or adorn (the hair) with a comb.
to use (something) in the manner of a comb: She was slowly combing her fingers through her hair.
to remove (anything undesirable) with or as if with a comb: She combed the snarls out of her hair. They combed the cowards from the group.
to search everywhere in: He combed the files for the missing letter.
to separate (textile fibers) with a comb.
to scrape with or as with a comb.
to sweep across; rake: High winds combed the seacoast.
verb (used without object)
to roll over or break at the crest, as a wave.

before 900; Middle English; Old English comb, camb; cognate with Old High German kamb (German Kamm), Old Norse kambr, Greek gómphos pin, peg, gomphíos molar tooth; see cam

combless, adjective
comblessness, noun
uncombed, adjective
well-combed, adjective Unabridged


plural noun
hairs removed with a comb or a brush.

1565–75; comb1 + -ing1 + -s3 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To combing
World English Dictionary
comb (kəʊm)
1.  a toothed device of metal, plastic, wood, etc, used for disentangling or arranging hair
2.  a tool or machine that separates, cleans, and straightens wool, cotton, etc
3.  (Austral), (NZ) the fixed cutter on a sheep-shearing machine
4.  anything resembling a toothed comb in form or function
5.  the fleshy deeply serrated outgrowth on the top of the heads of certain birds, esp the domestic fowl
6.  anything resembling the comb of a bird
7.  a currycomb
8.  a honeycomb
9.  the row of fused cilia in a ctenophore
10.  go over with a fine-tooth comb, go over with a fine-toothed comb, go through with a fine-tooth comb, go through with a fine-toothed comb to examine very thoroughly
vb (when tr, often foll by through)
11.  (tr) to use a comb on
12.  to search or inspect with great care: the police combed the woods
[Old English camb; related to Old Norse kambr, Old High German camb]

combings (ˈkəʊmɪŋz)
pl n
1.  the loose hair, wool, etc, removed by combing, esp that of animals
2.  the unwanted loose short fibres removed in combing cotton, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. camb "comb," lit. "toothed object," from W.Gmc. *kambaz, from PIE *gombhos, from base *gembh- "to bite, tooth" (cf. Gk. gomphos "a molar tooth," Skt. gambha-s "tooth"). As a verb, replaced O.E. cemban, which survives in unkempt.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Center of Marine Biotechnology
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature