[ kohm ]
See synonyms for comb on
  1. a toothed strip of plastic, hard rubber, bone, wood, or metal, used for arranging the hair, untangling it, or holding it in place.

  1. any comblike instrument, object, or formation.

  2. the fleshy, more or less serrated outgrowth on the head of certain gallinaceous birds, especially the domestic fowl.

  3. something resembling or suggesting this, as the crest of a wave.

  4. a honeycomb, or any similar group of cells.

  5. a machine for separating choice cotton or wool fibers from noil.

  6. a comblike instrument for imparting a grainlike finish to a painted surface.

  7. Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. a ridge of a roof.

  8. a series of springlike prongs projecting from a spine, usually of plastic, for making a loose-leaf binding.

  9. a trowel having a notched edge for applying adhesives in setting tiles or the like.

  10. Armor. a ridge along the top of a helmet, especially of the morion.

  11. Masonry. drag (def. 34).

  12. the upper edge of the buttstock of a rifle or shotgun.

verb (used with object)
  1. to arrange or adorn (the hair) with a comb.

  2. to use (something) in the manner of a comb: She was slowly combing her fingers through her hair.

  1. to remove (anything undesirable) with or as if with a comb: She combed the snarls out of her hair. They combed the cowards from the group.

  2. to search everywhere in: He combed the files for the missing letter.

  3. to separate (textile fibers) with a comb.

  4. to scrape with or as with a comb.

  5. to sweep across; rake: High winds combed the seacoast.

verb (used without object)
  1. to roll over or break at the crest, as a wave.

Origin of comb

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English comb, camb; cognate with Old High German kamb (German Kamm ), Old Norse kambr, Greek gómphos “pin, peg,” gomphíos “molar tooth,” Slavic (Polish) ząb “tooth,” Tocharian A kam “tooth”; see cam1, kempt

Other words from comb

  • comb·less, adjective
  • comb·less·ness, noun
  • un·combed, adjective
  • well-combed, adjective

Words Nearby comb

Other definitions for comb. (2 of 2)


  1. combination.

  2. combined.

  1. combining.

  2. combustion. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use comb in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for comb


/ (kəʊm) /

  1. a toothed device of metal, plastic, wood, etc, used for disentangling or arranging hair

  2. a tool or machine that separates, cleans, and straightens wool, cotton, etc

  1. Australian and NZ the fixed cutter on a sheep-shearing machine

  2. anything resembling a toothed comb in form or function

  3. the fleshy deeply serrated outgrowth on the top of the heads of certain birds, esp the domestic fowl

  4. anything resembling the comb of a bird

  5. a currycomb

  6. a honeycomb

  7. the row of fused cilia in a ctenophore

  8. go over with a fine-tooth comb, go over with a fine-toothed comb, go through with a fine-tooth comb or go through with a fine-toothed comb to examine very thoroughly

  1. (tr) to use a comb on

  2. (when tr, often foll by through) to search or inspect with great care: the police combed the woods

Origin of comb

Old English camb; related to Old Norse kambr, Old High German camb

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with comb


see fine-tooth comb.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.