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[puhm-is] /ˈpʌm ɪs/
Also called pumice stone. a porous or spongy form of volcanic glass, used as an abrasive.
verb (used with object), pumiced, pumicing.
to rub, smooth, clean, etc., with pumice.
Origin of pumice
before 1000; < Latin pūmic-, stem of pūmex pumice stone; replacing Middle English pomis(e), pomish(e), pomice < Middle French pomis < Latin; compare Old English pumic- (< L), in pumicstān pumice stone; see pounce3
Related forms
[pyoo-mish-uh s] /pyuˈmɪʃ əs/ (Show IPA),
pumicer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pumice
  • Unwrap your foot and scrub the areas with a pumice stone.
  • In the world in which albatrosses originated, the birds swallowed pieces of floating pumice for the fish eggs stuck to them.
  • For calluses, soak in warm water and then rub them down with a pumice stone.
  • If desired, use a pumice stone to gently wear down the corn.
  • Miller picks up a piece of pumice and hurls it into the water.
  • pumice is a light, porous volcanic rock that forms during explosive eruptions.
  • Instead, they clump on the surface of the ocean in pumice rafts.
  • pumice, obsidian, and basalt are all extrusive igneous rocks.
  • These flows oozed onto the ground only after the explosive eruption of pumice and ash had stopped.
  • pumice deposits are known in small pockets near these mountains.
British Dictionary definitions for pumice


Also called pumice stone. a light porous acid volcanic rock having the composition of rhyolite, used for scouring and, in powdered form, as an abrasive and for polishing
(transitive) to rub or polish with pumice
Derived Forms
pumiceous (pjuːˈmɪʃəs) adjective
Word Origin
C15 pomys, from Old French pomis, from Latin pūmex
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 pumice

c.1400, from Anglo-French and Old French pomis (13c.), from Late Latin pomicem (nominative pomex, genitive pumicis), from Oscan *poimex or some other dialectal variant of Latin pumex "pumice," from PIE *(s)poi-mo-, a root with connotations of "foam, froth" (see foam (n.)). Old English had pumic-stan. As a verb, early 15c., from the noun.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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pumice in Medicine

pumice pum·ice (pŭm'ĭs)
A light, porous, glassy lava, used as an abrasive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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pumice in Science
A usually light-colored, porous, lightweight rock of volcanic origin. The pores form when water vapor and gases escape from the lava during its quick solidification into rock.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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