- a mineral, hydrous magnesium silicate, H4Mg2Si3O10, occurring in white, claylike masses, used for ornamental carvings, for pipe bowls, etc.; sepiolite.
- a tobacco pipe with a bowl made of this substance.
Origin of meerschaum
Examples from the Web for meerschaum
It was as if the old days of the music-lesson and the meerschaum had come back.Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete
"Nobody ever gives me a meerschaum pipe," he said, plaintively.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
When the long dinner hour was over, Papa Wolf lighted his meerschaum.The Forbidden Trail
He puffed periodically on his "meerschaum" pipe, and directed the sluicing.Blazed Trail Stories
Stewart Edward White
He blinked twice, and put the meerschaum back between his lips.The Island Pharisees
- Also called: sepiolite a white, yellowish, or pink compact earthy mineral consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate: used to make tobacco pipes and as a building stone. Formula: Mg 2 Si 3 O 6 (OH) 4
- a tobacco pipe having a bowl made of this mineral
Word Origin and History for meerschaum
type of soft white clay, 1784; from 1789 as "tobacco pipe with a bowl made of meerschaum clay," from German Meerschaum, literally "sea-foam," so called from its frothy appearance; from Old High German mari "sea" (see mere (n.)) + scum "scum" (see skim (v.)). A loan-translation of Latin spuma maris, itself said to be a loan translation of Greek halos akhne, from Persian kaf-i-darya.