Plume (?), n. [F., fr. L. pluma.
Cf. Fly, v.]
1. A feather; esp., a soft, downy feather, or
a long, conspicuous, or handsome feather.
Wings . . . of many a colored
2. (Zoöl.) An ornamental tuft of
3. A feather, or group of feathers, worn as an
ornament; a waving ornament of hair, or other material resembling
His high plume, that nodded o'er his
4. A token of honor or prowess; that on which
one prides himself; a prize or reward. "Ambitious to win from me
some plume." Milton.
5. (Bot.) A large and flexible panicle
of inflorescence resembling a feather, such as is seen in certain
large ornamental grasses.
Plume bird (Zoöl.), 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 E. Ravennæ from
the Mediterranean region. The name is sometimes extended to the whole
genus. -- Plume moth (Zoöl.),
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
Plume, v. t. [imp. & p.
p. Plumed (?); p. pr. & vb. n.
Pluming.] [Cf. F. plumer to pluck, to strip, L.
plumare to cover with feathers.] 1. To
pick and adjust the plumes or feathers of; to dress or
Pluming her wings among the breezy
bowers. W. Irving.
2. To strip of feathers; to pluck; to strip;
to pillage; also, to peel. [Obs.] Bacon. Dryden.
3. To adorn with feathers or plumes.
"Farewell the plumed troop." Shak.
4. To pride; to vaunt; to boast; -- used
reflexively; as, he plumes himself on his skill.
Plumed adder (Zoöl.), an African
viper (Vipera, or 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 (Zoöl.), the
California mountain quail (Oreortyx pictus). See Mountain
quail, under Mountain.