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See more synonyms for pumice on Thesaurus.com
  1. Also called pumice stone. a porous or spongy form of volcanic glass, used as an abrasive.
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verb (used with object), pum·iced, pum·ic·ing.
  1. to rub, smooth, clean, etc., with pumice.
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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 formspu·mi·ceous [pyoo-mish-uh s] /pyuˈmɪʃ əs/, adjectivepum·ic·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for pumice

scrub, rub, furbish, mop, purge, wash, burnish, whiten, abrade, flush, buff, cleanse, brush, pumice, sand, shine, smooth, gloss, glaze, scour

Examples from the Web for pumice

Historical Examples of pumice

  • They have all been at work like her, spouting ashes and pumice and rocks and lava.

    Buried Cities: Pompeii, Olympia, Mycenae

    Jennie Hall

  • And from that cloud showered these hot, pelting pebbles of pumice stone.

  • You know what this is in the case of a sponge, or pumice stone.

  • The world's principal source for pumice is the Lipari Islands, Italy.

  • Pumice stone might do it, but it would take your skin off, too.

British Dictionary definitions for pumice


  1. 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
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  1. (tr) to rub or polish with pumice
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Derived Formspumiceous (pjuːˈmɪʃəs), adjective

Word Origin for pumice

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

Word Origin and History for 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pumice in Medicine


  1. A light, porous, glassy lava, used as an abrasive.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

pumice in Science


  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.