Sponge, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sponged p. pr. & vb. n. Sponging ]
1. To cleanse or wipe with a sponge; as, to sponge a slate or a cannon; to wet with a sponge; as, to sponge cloth.
2. To wipe out with a sponge, as letters or writing; to efface; to destroy all trace of.
3. Fig.: To deprive of something by imposition. “How came such multitudes of our nation . . . to be sponged of their plate and their money?”
4. Fig.: To get by imposition or mean arts without cost; as, to sponge a breakfast.
Spon·ging a. & n. from Sponge, v.
Sponging house Eng. Law, a bailiff's or other house in which debtors are put before being taken to jail, or until they compromise with their creditors. At these houses extortionate charges are commonly made for food, lodging, etc.