a feather.
a large, long, or conspicuous feather: the brilliant plume of a peacock.
a soft, fluffy feather: the plume of an egret.
any plumose part or formation.
a feather, a tuft of feathers, or some substitute, worn as an ornament, as on a hat, helmet, etc.
a feather or featherlike token of honor or distinction, especially one worn on a helmet.
a vertically or longitudinally moving, rising, or expanding fluid body, as of smoke or water.
a visible pattern of smoke resulting from emissions from a stack, flue, or chimney.
Also called mantle plume. Geology. a deep-seated upwelling of magma within the earth's mantle. Compare diapir.
verb (used with object), plumed, pluming.
to furnish, cover, or adorn with plumes or feathers.
(of a bird) to preen (itself or its feathers).
to feel complacent satisfaction with (oneself); pride (oneself) (often followed by on or upon ): She sat before the mirror, pluming herself upon her beauty.

1350–1400; earlier plome, plume, Middle English plume < Middle French < Latin plūma soft feather (> Old English plūm-, in plūmfether downy feather)

plumeless, adjective
plumelike, adjective
replume, verb (used with object), replumed, repluming. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
plume (pluːm)
1.  a feather, esp one that is large or ornamental
2.  a feather or cluster of feathers worn esp formerly as a badge or ornament in a headband, hat, etc
3.  biology any feathery part, such as the structure on certain fruits and seeds that aids dispersal by wind
4.  something that resembles a plume: a plume of smoke
5.  a token or decoration of honour; prize
6.  geology Also called: mantle plume a rising column of hot, low viscosity material within the earth's mantle, which is believed to be responsible for linear oceanic island chains and flood basalts
vb (foll by on or upon)
7.  to adorn or decorate with feathers or plumes
8.  (of a bird) to clean or preen (itself or its feathers)
9.  to pride or congratulate (oneself)
[C14: from Old French, from Latin plūma downy feather]

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

1399, "a feather" (especially a large and conspicuous one), from O.Fr. plume, from L. pluma "feather, down," from PIE base *pleus- "to pluck, a feather, fleece" (cf. O.E. fleos "fleece"). Meaning "a long streamer of smoke, etc." is first attested 1878. The verb meaning "to dress the feathers" is from
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
plume   (plm)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. A feather, especially a large one.

  2. A body of magma that rises from the Earth's mantle into the crust. ◇ If a plume rises to the Earth's surface, it erupts as lava. ◇ If it remains below the Earth's surface, it eventually solidifies into a body of rock known as a pluton.

  3. An area in air, water, soil, or rock containing pollutants released from a single source. A plume often spreads in the environment due to the action of wind, currents, or gravity.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Preliminary images of the plume show layers of it touching the sea floor.
As the plume of cigarette smoke dissipates, his smile exposes a single tooth.
These scientists were looking for sodium in the plume vapour and couldn't see
  it in the expelled ice grains.
When a volcano erupts, the volcanic plume full of gas and dust rises and then
  spreads into the shape of an umbrella.
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