1. A feather; especially, a soft, downy feather, or a long, conspicuous, or handsome feather. Wings . . . Of many a coloured plume. (milton)
2. (Science: zoology) An ornamental tuft of feathers.
3. A feather, or group of feathers, worn as an ornament; a waving ornament of hair, or other material resembling feathers. His high plume, that nodded o’er his head. (Dryden)
4. A token of honor or prowess; that on which one prides himself; a prize or reward. Ambitious to win from me some plume.
5. (Science: botany) A large and flexible panicle of inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain large ornamental grasses.
(Science: zoology) Plume bird, any bird that yields ornamental plumes, especially the species of Epimarchus from new guinea, and some of the herons and egrets, as the white heron of Florida (Ardea candidissima). Plume grass.
(Science: botany) An aromatic Australian tree (Atherosperma moschata), whose numerous carpels are tipped with long plumose persistent styles.
Origin: F, fr. L. Pluma. Cf. Fly.
1. To pick and adjust the plumes or feathers of; to dress or prink. Pluming her wings among the breezy bowers. (W. Irving)
2. To strip of feathers; to pluck; to strip; to pillage; also, to peel.
3. To adorn with feathers or plumes. Farewell the plumed troop.
4. To pride; to vaunt; to boast; used reflexively; as, he plumes himself on his ski
(Science: medicine) Plumed adder, the California mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus). See Mountain quail, under Mountain.
Origin: Cf. F. Plumer to pluck, to strip, L. Plumare to cover with feathers.