[ ploom ]
See synonyms for plume on
  1. a feather.

  2. a large, long, or conspicuous feather: the brilliant plume of a peacock.

  1. a soft, fluffy feather: the plume of an egret.

  2. any plumose part or formation.

  3. a feather, a tuft of feathers, or some substitute, worn as an ornament, as on a hat, helmet, etc.

  4. a feather or featherlike token of honor or distinction, especially one worn on a helmet.

  5. a vertically or longitudinally moving, rising, or expanding fluid body, as of smoke or water.

  6. a visible pattern of smoke resulting from emissions from a stack, flue, or chimney.

  7. Also called mantle plume. Geology. a deep-seated upwelling of magma within the earth's mantle.: Compare diapir.

verb (used with object),plumed, plum·ing.
  1. to furnish, cover, or adorn with plumes or feathers.

  2. (of a bird) to preen (itself or its feathers).

  1. to feel complacent satisfaction with (oneself); pride (oneself) (often followed by on or upon): She sat before the mirror, pluming herself upon her beauty.

Origin of plume

1350–1400; earlier plome, plume,Middle English plume<Middle French <Latin plūma soft feather (>Old English plūm-, in plūmfether downy feather)

Other words from plume

  • plumeless, adjective
  • plumelike, adjective
  • re·plume, verb (used with object), re·plumed, re·plum·ing.

Words Nearby plume Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use plume in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for plume


/ (pluːm) /

  1. a feather, esp one that is large or ornamental

  2. a feather or cluster of feathers worn esp formerly as a badge or ornament in a headband, hat, etc

  1. biology any feathery part, such as the structure on certain fruits and seeds that aids dispersal by wind

  2. something that resembles a plume: a plume of smoke

  3. a token or decoration of honour; prize

  4. geology a rising column of hot, low viscosity material within the earth's mantle, which is believed to be responsible for linear oceanic island chains and flood basalts: Also called: mantle plume

  1. to adorn or decorate with feathers or plumes

  2. (of a bird) to clean or preen (itself or its feathers)

  1. (foll by on or upon) to pride or congratulate (oneself)

Origin of plume

C14: from Old French, from Latin plūma downy feather

Derived forms of plume

  • plumeless, adjective
  • plumelike, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for plume


[ plōōm ]

  1. A feather, especially a large one.

  2. A body of magma that rises from the Earth's mantle into the crust.♦ If a plume rises to the Earth's surface, it erupts as lava. ♦ If it remains below the Earth's surface, it eventually solidifies into a body of rock known as a pluton.

  1. An area in air, water, soil, or rock containing pollutants released from a single source. A plume often spreads in the environment due to the action of wind, currents, or gravity.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.