[ spuhnj ]
/ spʌndʒ /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: sponge / sponging / spongelike on Thesaurus.com


verb (used with object), sponged, spong·ing.

verb (used without object), sponged, spong·ing.



Did you ever collect all those state quarters? Put them to good use on this quiz about curious state monikers and the facts around them.
Question 1 of 8
Mississippi’s nickname comes from the magnificent trees that grow there. What is it?

Idioms for sponge

    throw in the sponge, Informal. to concede defeat; yield; give up: The early election returns were heavily against him, but he wasn't ready to throw in the sponge.

Origin of sponge

First recorded before 1000; Middle English noun sponge, spunge, spounge, Old English noun sponge, spunge, from Latin spongia, spongea, from Greek spongiā́; verb from the noun


sponge·less, adjectivesponge·like, adjectivespong·ing·ly, adverbun·sponged, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for sponge

British Dictionary definitions for sponge

/ (spʌndʒ) /



See also sponge down

Derived forms of sponge

spongelike, adjective

Word Origin for sponge

Old English, from Latin spongia, from Greek
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

Medical definitions for sponge

[ spŭnj ]


Any of numerous aquatic invertebrate animals of the phylum Porifera.
The light, fibrous, absorbent skeleton of certain of these organisms.
A piece of absorbent porous material, such as cellulose, plastic, or rubber, used especially for washing and cleaning.
A gauze pad used to absorb blood and other fluids, as in surgery or in dressing a wound.
A contraceptive sponge.


To wash, moisten, or absorb with a sponge.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Scientific definitions for sponge

[ spŭnj ]

Any of numerous aquatic, chiefly marine invertebrate animals of the phylum Porifera. Sponges characteristically have a porous skeleton, usually containing an intricate system of canals, that is composed of fibrous material or siliceous or calcareous spicules. Water passing through the pores brings food to the organism. Sponges live in all depths of the sea, are sessile, and often form irregularly shaped colonies attached to an underwater surface. Sponges are considered the most primitive members of the animal kingdom, since they lack a nervous system and differentiated body tissues or organs. Adults do not have moving parts, but the larvae are free-swimming. Sponges have great regenerative capacities, with some species able to regenerate a complete adult organism from fragments as small as a single cell. Sponges first appear during the early Cambrian Period and may have evolved from protozoa. Also called poriferan See Note at regeneration.
The light, fibrous, flexible, absorbent skeleton of certain of these organisms, used for bathing, cleaning, and other purposes.
A piece of porous plastic, rubber, cellulose, or other material, similar in absorbency to this skeleton and used for the same purposes.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with sponge


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
See Today's Synonym