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[fohm] /foʊm/
a collection of minute bubbles formed on the surface of a liquid by agitation, fermentation, etc.:
foam on a glass of beer.
the froth of perspiration, caused by great exertion, formed on the skin of a horse or other animal.
froth formed from saliva in the mouth, as in epilepsy and rabies.
a thick frothy substance, as shaving cream.
  1. a chemically produced substance that smothers the flames on a burning liquid by forming a layer of minute, stable, heat-resistant bubbles on the liquid's surface.
  2. the layer of bubbles so formed.
a dispersion of gas bubbles in a solid, as foam glass, foam rubber, polyfoam, or foamed metal.
Literary. the sea.
verb (used without object)
to form or gather foam; emit foam; froth.
verb (used with object)
to cause to foam.
to cover with foam; apply foam to:
to foam a runway before an emergency landing.
to insulate with foam.
to make (plastic, metal, etc.) into a foam.
foam at the mouth, to be extremely or uncontrollably angry.
Origin of foam
before 900; Middle English fom, Old English fām; cognate with German Feim
Related forms
foamable, adjective
foamer, noun
foamingly, adverb
foamless, adjective
foamlike, adjective
defoam, verb (used with object)
unfoamed, adjective
unfoaming, adjective
1. froth, spume, head, fizz; scum. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for foam
  • The membrane surrounds a liquid, foam or solid food.
  • The resulting protein strands then form a mesh around the air bubbles, stabilizing the foam.
  • With no real cushion on the bag's backside, the bubbly foam padding is intended to offer support from everyday shunts and bumps.
  • Fluid foam tends to have medium to smaller bubbles and moderate drain times.
  • Plastic foam flats with tapered individual cells are sold by nurseries and through seed catalogs.
  • If sugar is added before a coarse foam is established, the whites get too stretchy to make a stiff foam.
  • Say, for instance, that someone in an argument starts to foam at the mouth.
  • Axel ties up the last ring of sausage and tosses it into the kettle, then sets about disinfecting the kitchen with spray foam.
  • To make it foam, draught stout is forced through a special plate.
  • Apart from a giant foam-rubber model of a potato, the roadshow will include demonstrations of recipes by leading chefs.
British Dictionary definitions for foam


a mass of small bubbles of gas formed on the surface of a liquid, such as the froth produced by agitating a solution of soap or detergent in water
frothy saliva sometimes formed in and expelled from the mouth, as in rabies
the frothy sweat of a horse or similar animal
  1. any of a number of light cellular solids made by creating bubbles of gas in the liquid material and solidifying it: used as insulators and in packaging
  2. (as modifier): foam rubber, foam plastic
a colloid consisting of a gas suspended in a liquid
a mixture of chemicals sprayed from a fire extinguisher onto a burning substance to create a stable layer of bubbles which smothers the flames
a poetic word for the sea
to produce or cause to produce foam; froth
(intransitive) to be very angry (esp in the phrase foam at the mouth)
Derived Forms
foamless, adjective
foamlike, adjective
Word Origin
Old English fām; related to Old High German feim, Latin spūma, Sanskrit phena
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for foam

Old English fam "foam, saliva froth," from West Germanic *faimo- (cf. Old High German veim, German Feim), from PIE *(s)poi-mo-, a root with connotations of "foam, froth" (cf. Sanskrit phenah; Latin pumex "pumice," spuma "foam;" Old Church Slavonic pena "foam;" Lithuanian spaine "a streak of foam"). The rubber or plastic variety so called from 1937.


Old English famgian "to foam," from the source of foam (n.). Related: Foamed; foaming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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foam in Science
  1. Small, frothy bubbles formed in or on the surface of a liquid, as from fermentation or shaking.

  2. A colloid in which particles of a gas are dispersed throughout a liquid. Compare aerosol, emulsion.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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foam in the Bible

(Hos. 10:7), the rendering of _ketseph_, which properly means twigs or splinters (as rendered in the LXX. and marg. R.V.). The expression in Hosea may therefore be read, "as a chip on the face of the water," denoting the helplessness of the piece of wood as compared with the irresistable current.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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