Word of the Day


Pronunciation /spʌn(d)ʒ/
1 A primitive sedentary aquatic invertebrate with a soft porous body that is typically supported by a framework of fibres or calcareous or glassy spicules. Sponges draw in a current of water to extract nutrients and oxygen.
Phylum Porifera: several classes
2 A piece of a soft, light, porous absorbent substance originally consisting of the fibrous skeleton of an aquatic invertebrate but now usually made of synthetic material, used for washing and cleaning.
2.1 in singular An act of wiping or cleaning with a sponge.
2.2 mass noun A soft, light, porous substance used as padding or insulating material.
2.3 A barrier contraceptive in the form of a piece of soft, light, porous material impregnated with spermicide and inserted into a woman’s vagina.
2.4 mass noun, with modifier Metal in a porous form, typically prepared by reduction without fusion or by electrolysis.
3 (also sponge cake) British A light cake made by beating eggs with sugar, flour, and usually butter or other fat.
3.1 short for sponge pudding
4 informal, derogatory A person who lives at someone else’s expense.
5 informal A heavy drinker.

verb sponges, sponging, spongeing, sponged
1 with object Wipe or clean with a wet sponge or cloth.
1.1 Remove or wipe away (liquid or a mark) with a sponge or cloth.
1.2 Give a decorative effect to (a painted surface) by applying a different shade of paint with a sponge.
1.3 Decorate (pottery) using a sponge.
2 informal no object Obtain or accept money or food from other people without doing or intending to do anything in return.
2.1 with object Obtain (money or food) from someone without doing anything in return.

Old English (in sponge (sense 2 of the noun)), via Latin from Greek spongia, later form of spongos, reinforced in Middle English by Old French esponge.


Observe the domestic scene;
He’s making the counter clean
Removing the post cooking grunge
With an oh-so-modern, cellulose sponge.

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