vegetable sponge


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Sponge \Sponge\ (sp[u^]nj), n. [OF. esponge, F. ['e]ponge, L.
   spongia, Gr. spoggia`, spo`ggos. Cf. Fungus, Spunk.]
   [Formerly written also spunge.]
   1. (Zool.) Any one of numerous species of Spongiae, or
      Porifera. See Illust. and Note under Spongiae.
      [1913 Webster]

   2. The elastic fibrous skeleton of many species of horny
      Spongiae (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.
      [1913 Webster]

   3. Fig.: One who lives upon others; a pertinacious and
      indolent dependent; a parasite; a sponger.
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   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.
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   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.
      [1913 Webster]

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

   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; -- now,
      throw in the towel is more common, and has the same
      origin and meaning. [Cant or Slang] "He was too brave a
      man to throw up the sponge to fate." --Lowell.

   Vegetable sponge. (Bot.) See Loof.

   Velvet sponge, a fine, soft commercial sponge ({Spongia
      equina}, variety meandriniformis) found in Florida and the
      West Indies.

   Vitreous sponge. See Glass-sponge.

   Yellow sponge, a common and valuable commercial sponge
      (Spongia agaricina, variety corlosia) found in Florida
      and the West Indies.
      [1913 Webster]
.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Loof \Loof\ (l[=oo]f), n. (Bot.)
   The spongelike fibers of the fruit of a cucurbitaceous plant
   (Luffa Aegyptiaca); called also vegetable sponge.
   [1913 Webster]
.

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Vegetable \Veg`e*ta*ble\, a. [F. v['e]g['e]table growing,
   capable of growing, formerly also, as a noun, a vegetable,
   from L. vegetabilis enlivening, from vegetare to enliven,
   invigorate, quicken, vegetus enlivened, vigorous, active,
   vegere to quicken, arouse, to be lively, akin to vigere to be
   lively, to thrive, vigil watchful, awake, and probably to E.
   wake, v. See Vigil, Wake, v.]
   [1913 Webster]
   1. Of or pertaining to plants; having the nature of, or
      produced by, plants; as, a vegetable nature; vegetable
      growths, juices, etc.
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            Blooming ambrosial fruit
            Of vegetable gold.                    --Milton.
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   2. Consisting of, or comprising, plants; as, the vegetable
      kingdom.
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   Vegetable alkali (Chem.), an alkaloid.

   Vegetable brimstone. (Bot.) See Vegetable sulphur, below.
      

   Vegetable butter (Bot.), a name of several kinds of
      concrete vegetable oil; as that produced by the Indian
      butter tree, the African shea tree, and the {Pentadesma
      butyracea}, a tree of the order Guttiferae, also
      African. Still another kind is pressed from the seeds of
      cocoa (Theobroma).

   Vegetable flannel, a textile material, manufactured in
      Germany from pine-needle wool, a down or fiber obtained
      from the leaves of the Pinus sylvestris.

   Vegetable ivory. See Ivory nut, under Ivory.

   Vegetable jelly. See Pectin.

   Vegetable kingdom. (Nat. Hist.) See the last Phrase, below.
      

   Vegetable leather.
      (a) (Bot.) A shrubby West Indian spurge ({Euphorbia
          punicea}), with leathery foliage and crimson bracts.
      (b) See Vegetable leather, under Leather.

   Vegetable marrow (Bot.), an egg-shaped gourd, commonly
      eight to ten inches long. It is noted for the very tender
      quality of its flesh, and is a favorite culinary vegetable
      in England. It has been said to be of Persian origin, but
      is now thought to have been derived from a form of the
      American pumpkin.

   Vegetable oyster (Bot.), the oyster plant. See under
      Oyster.

   Vegetable parchment, papyrine.

   Vegetable sheep (Bot.), a white woolly plant ({Raoulia
      eximia}) of New Zealand, which grows in the form of large
      fleecy cushions on the mountains.

   Vegetable silk, a cottonlike, fibrous material obtained
      from the coating of the seeds of a Brazilian tree
      (Chorisia speciosa). It is used for various purposes, as
      for stuffing cushions, and the like, but is incapable of
      being spun on account of a want of cohesion among the
      fibers.

   Vegetable sponge. See 1st Loof.

   Vegetable sulphur, the fine and highly inflammable spores
      of the club moss (Lycopodium clavatum); witch meal.

   Vegetable tallow, a substance resembling tallow, obtained
      from various plants; as, Chinese vegetable tallow,
      obtained from the seeds of the tallow tree. {Indian
      vegetable tallow} is a name sometimes given to piney
      tallow.

   Vegetable wax, a waxy excretion on the leaves or fruits of
      certain plants, as the bayberry.
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   Vegetable kingdom (Nat. Hist.), that primary division of
      living things which includes all plants. The classes of
      the vegetable kingdom have been grouped differently by
      various botanists. The following is one of the best of the
      many arrangements of the principal subdivisions.
      [1913 Webster] I. Phaenogamia (called also
      Phanerogamia). Plants having distinct flowers and true
      seeds. [ 1. Dicotyledons (called also Exogens). --
      Seeds with two or more cotyledons. Stems with the pith,
      woody fiber, and bark concentrically arranged. Divided
      into two subclasses: Angiosperms, having the woody fiber
      interspersed with dotted or annular ducts, and the seeds
      contained in a true ovary; Gymnosperms, having few or no
      ducts in the woody fiber, and the seeds naked. 2.
      Monocotyledons (called also Endogens). -- Seeds with
      single cotyledon. Stems with slender bundles of woody
      fiber not concentrically arranged, and with no true bark.]
      [1913 Webster] II. Cryptogamia. Plants without true
      flowers, and reproduced by minute spores of various kinds,
      or by simple cell division. [ 1. Acrogens. -- Plants
      usually with distinct stems and leaves, existing in two
      alternate conditions, one of which is nonsexual and
      sporophoric, the other sexual and oophoric. Divided into
      Vascular Acrogens, or Pteridophyta, having the
      sporophoric plant conspicuous and consisting partly of
      vascular tissue, as in Ferns, Lycopods, and Equiseta, and
      Cellular Acrogens, or Bryophyta, having the sexual
      plant most conspicuous, but destitute of vascular tissue,
      as in Mosses and Scale Mosses. 2. Thallogens. -- Plants
      without distinct stem and leaves, consisting of a simple
      or branched mass of cellular tissue, or reduced to a
      single cell. Reproduction effected variously. Divided into
      Algae, which contain chlorophyll or its equivalent, and
      which live upon air and water, and Fungi, which contain
      no chlorophyll, and live on organic matter. (Lichens are
      now believed to be fungi parasitic on included algae.]
      [1913 Webster]

   Note: Many botanists divide the Phaenogamia primarily into
         Gymnosperms and Angiosperms, and the latter into
         Dicotyledons and Monocotyledons. Others consider
         Pteridophyta and Bryophyta to be separate classes.
         Thallogens are variously divided by different writers,
         and the places for diatoms, slime molds, and stoneworts
         are altogether uncertain.
         [1913 Webster] For definitions, see these names in the
         Vocabulary.
         [1913 Webster]
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