• synonyms


[ puhm-is ]
/ ˈpʌm ɪs /


Also called pumice stone. a porous or spongy form of volcanic glass, used as an abrasive.

verb (used with object), pum·iced, pum·ic·ing.

to rub, smooth, clean, etc., with pumice.

Nearby words

pulvinar, pulvinate, pulvinus, puma, pumelo, pumice, pumice country, pumice stone, pumiceous, pummel, pummelo

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pumiceous

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

    A Manual of Elementary Geology|Charles Lyell.
  • It filled ravines, such as Fosso Grande, and concreted and hardened there into pumiceous tufa—a very instructive phenomenon.

  • All the upper part of the mountain is composed of a pumiceous tufa, rich in sanidine and of a characteristic greenish colour.

British Dictionary definitions for pumiceous


/ (ˈpʌmɪs) /


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


(tr) to rub or polish with pumice
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

Medicine definitions for pumiceous


[ pŭmĭs ]


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.

Science definitions for pumiceous


[ pŭmĭs ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.