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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for pumiceous
Historical Examples
  • All the upper part of the mountain is composed of a pumiceous tufa, rich in sanidine and of a characteristic greenish colour.

  • Upon this rests a pumiceous breccia and conglomerate, with angular masses of trachyte, and some quartz pebbles.

  • It filled ravines, such as Fosso Grande, and concreted and hardened there into pumiceous tufa—a very instructive phenomenon.

British Dictionary definitions for pumiceous


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 pumiceous

1670s, from Latin pumiceus "of pumice stone," from pumex (see 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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pumiceous 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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pumiceous 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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