1. A feather; esp., a soft, downy feather, or a long, conspicuous, or handsome feather.
Wings . . . of many a colored plume. --Milton.
2. Zool. An ornamental tuft of feathers.
3. A feather, or group of feathers, worn as an ornament; a waving ornament of hair, or other material resembling feathers.
His high plume, that nodded o'er his head. --Dryden.
4. A token of honor or prowess; that on which one prides himself; a prize or reward. “Ambitious to win from me some plume.”
5. Bot. A large and flexible panicle of inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain large ornamental grasses.
Plume bird Zool., any bird that yields ornamental plumes, especially the species of Epimarchus from New Guinea, and some of the herons and egrets, as the white heron of Florida (Ardea candidissima).
Plume grass. Bot (a) A kind of grass (Erianthus saccharoides) with the spikelets arranged in great silky plumes, growing in swamps in the Southern United States. (b) The still finer Erianthus Ravennæ from the Mediterranean region. The name is sometimes extended to the whole genus.
Plume moth Zool., any one of numerous small, slender moths, belonging to the family Pterophoridæ. Most of them have the wings deeply divided into two or more plumelike lobes. Some species are injurious to the grapevine.
Plume nutmeg Bot., an aromatic Australian tree (Atherosperma moschata), whose numerous carpels are tipped with long plumose persistent styles.
Plume, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Plumed p. pr. & vb. n. Pluming.]
1. To pick and adjust the plumes or feathers of; to dress or prink.
Pluming her wings among the breezy bowers. --W. Irving.
2. To strip of feathers; to pluck; to strip; to pillage; also, to peel. [Obs.]
3. To adorn with feathers or plumes. “Farewell the plumed troop.”
4. To pride; to vaunt; to boast; -- used reflexively; as, he plumes himself on his skill.
Plumed adder Zool., an African viper (Vipera cornuta, syn. Clotho cornuta), having a plumelike structure over each eye. It is venomous, and is related to the African puff adder. Called also horned viper and hornsman.
Plumed partridge Zool., the California mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus). See Mountain quail, under Mountain.
n 1: a feather or cluster of feathers worn as an ornament
2: the light horny waterproof structure forming the external
covering of birds [syn: feather, plumage]
v 1: rip off; ask an unreasonable price [syn: overcharge, soak,
surcharge, gazump, fleece, pluck, rob, hook]
2: be proud of; "He prides himself on making it into law
school" [syn: pride, congratulate]
3: deck with a plume; "a plumed helmet"
4: clean with one's bill; "The birds preened" [syn: preen]
5: form a plume; "The chimneys were pluming the sky"; "The
engine was pluming black smoke"
6: dress or groom with elaborate care; "She likes to dress when
going to the opera" [syn: preen, primp, dress]