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plume

[ploom] /plum/
noun
1.
a feather.
2.
a large, long, or conspicuous feather:
the brilliant plume of a peacock.
3.
a soft, fluffy feather:
the plume of an egret.
4.
any plumose part or formation.
5.
a feather, a tuft of feathers, or some substitute, worn as an ornament, as on a hat, helmet, etc.
6.
a feather or featherlike token of honor or distinction, especially one worn on a helmet.
7.
8.
a vertically or longitudinally moving, rising, or expanding fluid body, as of smoke or water.
9.
a visible pattern of smoke resulting from emissions from a stack, flue, or chimney.
10.
Also called mantle plume. Geology. a deep-seated upwelling of magma within the earth's mantle.
Compare diapir.
verb (used with object), plumed, pluming.
11.
to furnish, cover, or adorn with plumes or feathers.
12.
(of a bird) to preen (itself or its feathers).
13.
to feel complacent satisfaction with (oneself); pride (oneself) (often followed by on or upon):
She sat before the mirror, pluming herself upon her beauty.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; earlier plome, plume, Middle English plume < Middle French < Latin plūma soft feather (> Old English plūm-, in plūmfether downy feather)
Related forms
plumeless, adjective
plumelike, adjective
replume, verb (used with object), replumed, repluming.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for plumes
  • The plumes of poisonous gas that leaked from the plant killed thousands within minutes.
  • Swirling, slender plumes of smoke from incense filled the air, seeping into our hair.
  • Huge plumes of this have been reported in polar seas.
  • Dozens of plumes from forest and peat bog fires can be seen scattered everywhere.
  • If photos have a sequence, look and you might find some plumes that become points.
  • Beyond the mouth of the bay he could see rising plumes, the spouts of humpback whales gathered to breed.
  • The cold air pushed the hot plumes back down in a swirling motion at sunrise.
  • As warm air close to the ground rises, plumes of cooler air fall to replace it, creating vertical circulation.
  • Localized gas plumes may point to biological or geologic activity.
  • The sun heats the surface, which produces plumes of buoyant rising air.
British Dictionary definitions for plumes

plume

/pluːm/
noun
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) 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 Also called mantle plume
verb (transitive)
7.
to adorn or decorate with feathers or plumes
8.
(of a bird) to clean or preen (itself or its feathers)
9.
foll by on or upon. to pride or congratulate (oneself)
Derived Forms
plumeless, adjective
plumelike, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin plūma downy feather
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 plumes

plume

n.

late 14c., "a feather" (especially a large and conspicuous one), from Old French plume "soft feather, down; feather bed," and directly from Latin pluma "a feather, down; the first beard," from PIE root *pleus- "to pluck; a feather, fleece" (cf. Old English fleos "fleece"). Meaning "a long streamer of smoke, etc." is first attested 1878.

v.

late 14c., "to pluck, strip," from plume (n.). From mid-15c. as "to adorn with plumes." Meaning "to dress the feathers" is from 1702. Related: Plumed; pluming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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plumes in Science
plume
  (plm)   
  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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