- dough raised with yeast, especially before kneading, as for bread.
- a light, sweet pudding of a porous texture, made with gelatin, eggs, fruit juice or other flavoring material, etc.
verb (used with object), sponged, spong·ing.
verb (used without object), sponged, spong·ing.
- sponge bag,
- sponge bath,
- sponge cake,
- sponge cloth,
- sponge down
Origin of sponge
Word Origin for sponge
Old English sponge, spunge, from Latin spongia "a sponge," also "sea animal from which a sponge comes," from Greek spongia, related to spongos "sponge," borrowed from an unknown source. The Latin word is the source of Old Saxon spunsia, Middle Dutch spongie, Old French esponge, Spanish esponja, Italian spugna. To throw in the sponge "quit, submit" (1860) is from prizefighting, in reference to the sponges used to cleanse the faces of combatants between rounds (cf. later throw in the towel). Sponge-cake is attested from 1808.
late 14c., "to soak up with a sponge," from sponge (n.). The slang sense of "to live in a parasitic manner" is attested from 1670s; sponger (n.) in this sense is from 1670s. Originally it was the victim who was known as the sponge (c.1600), because he or she was being "squeezed." Related: Sponged; sponging.
Also, sponge off. Impose on another's hospitality or generosity, as in He's been sponging on relatives for the past year. This expression uses sponge in the sense of “to soak up something.” [Late 1600s]
In addition to the idiom beginning with sponge
- sponge on
- throw in the sponge