Hypertext Webster Gateway: "sponge"

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (easton)

occurs only in the narrative of the crucifixion (Matt. 27:48;
Mark 15:36; John 19:29). It is ranked as a zoophyte. It is found
attached to rocks at the bottom of the sea.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Sponge \Sponge\, n. [OF. esponge, F. ['e]ponge, L. spongia, Gr.
?, ?. Cf. {Fungus}, {Spunk}.] [Formerly written also
1. (Zo["o]l.) Any one of numerous species of Spongi[ae], or
Porifera. See Illust. and Note under {Spongi[ae]}.

2. The elastic fibrous skeleton of many species of horny
Spongi[ae] (keratosa), used for many purposes, especially
the varieties of the genus {Spongia}. The most valuable
sponges are found in the Mediterranean and the Red Sea,
and on the coasts of Florida and the West Indies.

3. Fig.: One who lives upon others; a pertinaceous and
indolent dependent; a parasite; a sponger.

4. Any spongelike substance. Specifically:
(a) Dough before it is kneaded and formed into loaves, and
after it is converted into a light, spongy mass by the
agency of the yeast or leaven.
(b) Iron from the puddling furnace, in a pasty condition.
(c) Iron ore, in masses, reduced but not melted or worked.

5. (Gun.) A mop for cleaning the bore of a cannon after a
discharge. It consists of a cylinder of wood, covered with
sheepskin with the wool on, or cloth with a heavy looped
nap, and having a handle, or staff.

6. (Far.) The extremity, or point, of a horseshoe, answering
to the heel.

{Bath sponge}, any one of several varieties of coarse
commercial sponges, especially {Spongia equina}.

{Cup sponge}, a toilet sponge growing in a cup-shaped form.

{Glass sponge}. See {Glass-sponge}, in the Vocabulary.

{Glove sponge}, a variety of commercial sponge ({Spongia
officinalis}, variety {tubulufera}), having very fine
fibers, native of Florida, and the West Indies.

{Grass sponge}, any one of several varieties of coarse
commercial sponges having the surface irregularly tufted,
as {Spongia graminea}, and {S. equina}, variety
{cerebriformis}, of Florida and the West Indies.

{Horse sponge}, a coarse commercial sponge, especially
{Spongia equina}.

{Platinum sponge}. (Chem.) See under {Platinum}.

{Pyrotechnical sponge}, a substance made of mushrooms or
fungi, which are boiled in water, dried, and beaten, then
put in a strong lye prepared with saltpeter, and again
dried in an oven. This makes the black match, or tinder,
brought from Germany.

{Sheep's-wool sponge}, a fine and durable commercial sponge
({Spongia equina}, variety {gossypina}) found in Florida
and the West Indies. The surface is covered with larger
and smaller tufts, having the oscula between them.

{Sponge cake}, a kind of sweet cake which is light and

{Sponge lead}, or {Spongy lead} (Chem.), metallic lead
brought to a spongy form by reduction of lead salts, or by
compressing finely divided lead; -- used in secondary
batteries and otherwise.

{Sponge tree} (Bot.), a tropical leguminous tree ({Acacia
Farnesiana}), with deliciously fragrant flowers, which are
used in perfumery.

{Toilet sponge}, a very fine and superior variety of
Mediterranean sponge ({Spongia officinalis}, variety
{Mediterranea}); -- called also {turkish sponge}.

{To set a sponge} (Cookery), to leaven a small mass of flour,
to be used in leavening a larger quantity.

{To throw up the sponge}, to give up a contest; to
acknowledge defeat; -- from a custom of the prize ring,
the person employed to sponge a pugilist between rounds
throwing his sponge in the air in token of defeat. [Cant
or Slang] ``He was too brave a man to throw up the sponge
to fate.'' --Lowell.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Sponge \Sponge\, v. i.
1. To suck in, or imbile, as a sponge.

2. Fig.: To gain by mean arts, by intrusion, or hanging on;
as, an idler sponges on his neighbor. --E. Eggleston.

The fly is an intruder, and a common smell-feast,
that sponges upon other people's trenchers.

3. To be converted, as dough, into a light, spongy mass by
the agency of yeast, or leaven.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Sponge \Sponge\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Sponged}; p. pr. & vb. n.
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. --Hooker.

3. Fig.: To deprive of something by imposition. ``How came
such multitudes of our nation . . . to be sponged of their
plate and their money?'' --South.

4. Fig.: To get by imposition or mean arts without cost; as,
to sponge a breakfast. --Swift.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: a porous mass of interlacing fibers the forms the internal
skeleton of various marine animals and usable to absorb
water or any porous rubber or cellulose product
similarly used
2: a follower who hangs around a host (without benefit to the
host) in hope of gain or advantage [syn: {leech}, {parasite},
3: primitive multicellular marine animal whose porous body is
supported by a fibrous skeletal framework; usually occurs
in sessile colonies [syn: {poriferan}, {parazoan}]
v 1: wipe with a sponge, so as to clean or moisten
2: ask for and get free; be a parasite [syn: {mooch}, {bum}, {cadge},
3: erase with a sponge; as of words on a blackboard
4: soak up with a sponge
5: gather sponges, in the ocean

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