Dictionary > Sponge


1. (Science: zoology) Any one of numerous species of spongiae, or porifera.
2. The elastic fibrous skeleton of many species of horny spongiae (keratosa), used for many purposes, especially the varieties of the genus spongia. The most valuable sponges are found in the Mediterranean and the red sea, and on the coasts of Florida and the west indies.
3. One who lives upon others; a pertinaceous and indolent dependent; a parasite; a sponger.
4. Any spongelike substance. Specifically: Dough before it is kneaded and formed into loaves, and after it is converted into a light, spongy mass by the agency of the yeast or leaven.
iron from the puddling furnace, in a pasty condition.
iron ore, in masses, reduced but not melted or worked.
5. A mop for cleaning the bore of a cannon after a discharge. It consists of a cylinder of wood, covered with sheepskin with the wool on, or cloth with a heavy looped nap, and having a handle, or staff.
6. (Science: veterinary) The extremity, or point, of a horseshoe, answering to the heel. Bath sponge, any one of several varieties of coarse commercial sponges, especially spongia equina. Cup sponge, a toilet sponge growing in a cup-shaped form. Glass sponge. See glasssponge, in the vocabulary. Glove sponge, a variety of commercial sponge (spongia officinalis, variety tubulufera), having very fine fibres, native of Florida, and the west indies. Grass sponge, any one of several varieties of coarse commercial sponges having the surface irregularly tufted, as spongia graminea, and s. Equina, variety cerebriformis, of Florida and the west indies. Horse sponge, a coarse commercial sponge, especially spongia equina. Platinum sponge.
(Science: chemistry) A metallic lead brought to a spongy form by reduction of lead salts, or by compressing finely divided lead; used in secondary batteries and otherwise.
(Science: botany) sponge tree see loof. Velvet sponge, a fine, soft commercial sponge (spongia equina, variety meandriniformis) found in Florida and the west indies. Vitreous sponge. See glasssponge. Yellow sponge, a common and valuable commercial sponge (spongia agaricina, variety corlosia) found in Florida and the west indies.
Origin: OF. Esponge, f. Eponge, L. Spongia, gr, . Cf. Fungus, spunk.

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