- 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.
Origin of sponge
Synonyms for sponge
Related Words for throw in the spongerelinquish, waive, grant, transfer, renounce, communicate, concede, capitulate, alien, accord, convey, alienate, drop, yield, leave, fold, resign, allow, vouchsafe, abdicate
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.
throw in the sponge
Also, throw in the towel. Give up, acknowledge defeat, as in I can't move this rock; I'm throwing in the sponge, or Bill decided to throw in the towel and resign from his job. This idiom comes from boxing, where formerly a fighter (or his second) conceded defeat by throwing the sponge or towel used to wipe his face into the ring. [c. 1900]
In addition to the idiom beginning with sponge
- sponge on
- throw in the sponge