• WordNet 3.6
    • v sponge gather sponges, in the ocean
    • v sponge wipe with a sponge, so as to clean or moisten
    • v sponge soak up with a sponge
    • v sponge erase with a sponge; as of words on a blackboard
    • v sponge ask for and get free; be a parasite
    • n sponge primitive multicellular marine animal whose porous body is supported by a fibrous skeletal framework; usually occurs in sessile colonies
    • n sponge a follower who hangs around a host (without benefit to the host) in hope of gain or advantage
    • n sponge someone able to acquire new knowledge and skills rapidly and easily "she soaks up foreign languages like a sponge"
    • n sponge a porous mass of interlacing fibers that forms the internal skeleton of various marine animals and usable to absorb water or any porous rubber or cellulose product similarly used
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Each year all of the Hostess bakeries combined bake 500 million Twinkies a year. (A twinkie is a sponge cake with a creamy filling.)
    • Sponge (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.
    • Sponge (Zoöl) Any one of numerous species of Spongiæ, or Porifera. See Illust. and Note under Spongiæ.
    • Sponge Any spongelike substance.
    • Sponge 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.
    • Sponge Fig.: To deprive of something by imposition. "How came such multitudes of our nation . . . to be sponged of their plate and their money?"
    • Sponge Fig.: To gain by mean arts, by intrusion, or hanging on; as, an idler sponges on his neighbor. "The fly is an intruder, and a common smell-feast, that sponges upon other people's trenchers."
    • Sponge Fig.: To get by imposition or mean arts without cost; as, to sponge a breakfast.
    • Sponge Iron from the puddling furnace, in a pasty condition.
    • Sponge Iron ore, in masses, reduced but not melted or worked.
    • Sponge One who lives upon others; a pertinacious and indolent dependent; a parasite; a sponger.
    • Sponge The elastic fibrous skeleton of many species of horny Spongiæ (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.
    • Sponge (Far) The extremity, or point, of a horseshoe, answering to the heel.
    • Sponge To be converted, as dough, into a light, spongy mass by the agency of yeast, or leaven.
    • Sponge To cleanse or wipe with a sponge; as, to sponge a slate or a cannon; to wet with a sponge; as, to sponge cloth.
    • Sponge To suck in, or imbibe, as a sponge.
    • Sponge To wipe out with a sponge, as letters or writing; to efface; to destroy all trace of.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Sponge Candy was invented in Buffalo, NY
    • n sponge A fixed aquatic organism of a low order, various in form and texture, composed of an aggregate of amœbiform bodies disposed about a common cavity provided with one or more inhalent and exhalent orifices (ostioles and oscules), through which water pours in and out. The proper sponge-substance is traversed by a water-vascular system or set of irrigating canals, and in nearly all cases is supported and strengthened by a skeleton in the form of horny fibers, or silicious or calcareous spicules. The streaming of the water is kept up by the vibration of cilia in the water-vascular system—that is, by the lashing of flagella borne upon the individual sponge-cells. These so much resemble flagellate infusorians that some naturalists regard sponges as compound infusorians, and consequently as protozoans. Those cells which have definite form are spindle shaped, or flask-shaped, and provided with flagella, round the base of which there may be a little rim or collar, as in those infusorians known as collar-bearing monads, or Choanoflagellata. Sponges propagate by budding or gemmation, a process involving cell-fission or ordinary division of cells. They also reproduce sexually by ova and spermatozoa. Sponge-germs resulting from fission are called gemmules. The spermatozoa are spindle-shaped. The ova are like ordinary amœbiform cells, and are usually shed into the canals and pass out of the system to be developed; in some species they develop in the substance of the parent. The embryo forms a hollow ball with a ciliated cavity, and then acquires inhalent and exhalent pores. The living tissue proper of sponges is disposed in three layers or sets of cells, as in all higher animals. These are an ectoderm, cuticle, or out-layer; an endoderm, innermost layer, or in-layer; and a mesoderm, middle layer, or mid-layer, which may be quite thick. It is from the mid-layer that the reproductive elements, and all the many forms of skeletal elements, are derived. Special sense-organs have been described in some sponges. (See cut under synocil.) Sponges as a class or phylum of animals have many technical names—as Acnidophora, because they have no cnidæ or stinging-organs (compare Cnidaria); Amorphozoa, from their shapelessness, or rather their many shapes; Parazoa, from their position with respect to both Protozoa and Metazoa; Porifera, Poriferata, Porozoa, and Polystomata, from their many pores or openings (see cut under Porifera); Spongiæ, Spongiaria, Spongida, Spongiozoa, etc. They are divided into various primary groups, the most tangible of which are two—the chalk-sponges, or Calcispongiæ, and the fibrous and flinty sponges, or Silicispongiæ. But the leading authorities differ irreconcilably in the arrangement and nomenclature of the many orders, families, and genera they respectively adopt; and the opinion has been expressed that the sponges are not susceptible of satisfactory treatment by the ordinary methods of zoölogical classification. See also cuts under ciliate, Spongilla, monadiform, Euplectella, and Hyalonemidæ.
    • n sponge The fibrous framework of a colony of sponge-animalcules, from which the animalcules themselves have been washed out, and from which the gritty or sandy parts of the colony, if there were any, have been taken away. See skeleton, 1 . The framework of sponges is of different character in the several orders. The slime-sponges have none, or scarcely any. In the ordinary fibrous sponges the skeleton is a quantity of interlacing fibers and layers, forming an intricate network. This is further strengthened in the chalky and glassy sponges by hard spicules, either separately embedded in the general skeletal substance, called ceratode, or solidified in a kind of latticework. (See Calcispongiæ, Silicispongiæ.) The chalk-needles or calcareous spicules are either straight or oftener rayed in three-armed or four-armed crosses. The sand-needles or silicious spicules present an extraordinary and beautiful variety. Among them are many starry figures and wheel-like forms, resembling snow-crystals; others are still more curious, in the forms of crosses, anchors, grapnels, shirt-studs, bodkins, etc. The six-rayed star is the characteristic shape in the glass-sponges. (See Hexactinellida.) Sponge-spicules are named in an elaborate special vocabulary. (See sponge-spicule.) The glass-sponges have some commercial value from their beauty as objects of curiosity; but a few of the fibrous sponges are the only others out of many hundreds of species, both fossil and recent, of any economic importance. Sponges, when wetted, swell to a much greater size, and become very flexible; they are therefore used as vehicles and absorbents of water and other liquids, in wiping or cleansing surfaces, erasing marks, as from a slate, etc. See bath-sponge, Euspongia, and Hippospongia.
    • n sponge Any sponge-like substance. In baking, dough before it is kneaded and formed, when full of globules of carbonic acid generated by the yeast or leaven.
    • n sponge A tool for cleaning a cannon after its discharge. The sponge used for smooth-bore guns consists of a cylinder of wood covered with sheepskin or some similar woolly fabric, and fitting the bore of the gun rather closely; this is secured to a long handle, or, for field-guns, to the reverse end of the rammer. For modern rifled guns and breech-loaders, sponges of different forms and materials have been introduced. A common form is a cylinder to which bristles are fixed, forming a cylindrical brush, the rounded end being also covered with the bristles. See cut under gun-carriage.
    • n sponge Figuratively, one who or that which absorbs without discrimination, and as readily gives up, when subjected to pressure, that which has been absorbed.
    • n sponge One who persistently lives upon others; a sycophantic or cringing dependent; a hanger-on for the sake of maintenance; a parasite.
    • n sponge In the manège, the extremity or point of a horseshoe answering to the heel.
    • n sponge The coral, or mass of eggs, under the abdomen of a crab.
    • sponge To cleanse or wipe with a sponge: as, to sponge the body; to sponge a slate or a cannon.
    • sponge To wipe out with a sponge, as letters or writing; efface; remove with a sponge; destroy all traces of: with out, off, etc.
    • sponge Specifically To dampen, as in cloth-manufacturing.
    • sponge To absorb; use a sponge, or act like a sponge, in absorbing: generally with up: as, to sponge up water that has been spilled.
    • sponge To gain by sycophantic or mean arts.
    • sponge To drain; harass by extortion; squeeze; plunder.
    • sponge In baking, to set a sponge for: as, to sponge bread.
    • sponge To gather sponges where they grow; dive or dredge for sponges.
    • sponge To live meanly at the expense of others; obtain money or other aid in a mean way: with on.
    • n sponge Any absorbent material employed to take up the blood and other fluids in surgical operations.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: "Fine turkey" and "honeycomb" are terms used for different qualities and textures of sponges.
    • n Sponge spunj a fixed, usually marine, animal with pores in the body-wall and without tentacles: the fibrous framework of such, remarkable for its power of sucking up water: any sponge-like substance, as dough before it is kneaded and formed: any cringing hanger-on or parasite, a drunken fellow: an instrument for cleaning cannon after a discharge: the heel of a horse's shoe
    • v.t Sponge to wipe with a sponge: to wipe out, absorb up, with a sponge: to wipe out completely: to destroy
    • v.i Sponge to suck in, as a sponge: to gain by mean tricks, to live on others by some mean subterfuge or other
    • ***


  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “We all know that sponges grow in the ocean but I wander how much deeper the ocean would be if that wasn't the case.”
  • Elizabeth Barrett Browning
    “This race is never grateful: from the first, One fills their cup at supper with pure wine, Which back they give at cross-time on a sponge, In bitter vinegar.”
  • Artemus Ward
    Artemus Ward
    “Im not a politician and my other habits are good. Ive no enemys to reward, nor friends to sponge. But Im a Union man.”
  • James Dye
    James Dye
    “I learned from Bruce Lee, "Be like water" and Gil Grissom from CSI, "Be like sponge."”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. esponge, F. éponge, L. spongia, Gr. spoggia` spo`ggos. Cf. Fungus Spunk


In literature:

The girls had washed the currants with Brown Windsor soap and the sponge.
"New Treasure Seekers" by E. (Edith) Nesbit
I'm done, and I'm for throwing up the sponge.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
Then you've your big sponge, and a can of water.
"Witness to the Deed" by George Manville Fenn
Brumley was in misery and threw up the sponge.
"The Escape of a Princess Pat" by George Pearson
A joint-staff sponge, for cleaning out a piece of ordnance.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
He had regarded his brother as a very full sponge, from which living water might probably be squeezed.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
Put a few sunflower seeds in a small sponge or wrap them loosely in a piece of soft cloth.
"Ontario Teachers' Manuals: Nature Study" by Ontario Ministry of Education
Butter well a pudding dish, cover the bottom with slices of stale sponge cake about an inch thick, fit closely together.
"The Golden Age Cook Book" by Henrietta Latham Dwight
His mannerisms had for the moment been sponged out.
"A Daughter of Raasay" by William MacLeod Raine
Wash the stone after with sponge and water.
"One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed" by C. A. Bogardus

In poetry:

When mother put me in my bath,
I tossed the water all about,
And popped the soap upon my head,
And threw the sponge and flannel out.
"The Naughty Day" by Fay Inchfawn
We heard the billows crack and plunge,
We saw nor waves nor ships.
Earth sucked the vapors like a sponge,
The salt spray wet our lips.
"Off Rough Point" by Emma Lazarus
"When Tom has half his income
Laid by at the year's end,
Poor Ned has ne'er a stiver
That rightly he may spend,
But sponges on a tradesman,
Or borrows from a friend.
"The King Of Brentford’s Testament" by William Makepeace Thackeray
My thouchts are like worms in a starless gloamin
My hert's like a sponge that's fillit wi' gall;
My soul's like a bodiless ghaist sent a roamin
I' the haar an' the mirk till the trumpet call.
"Mirls" by George MacDonald
"To bear thy sins. Look on the cross, stained red!
The nails, the sponge, that, all, thy soul shall guide
To love on earth where flesh thrones in its pride,
My Body and Blood alone, thy Wine and Bread.
"Son, Thou Must Love Me" by Paul Verlaine
We weep if men deny
That Thou didst live and die,
Didst ever walk upon this mortal sphere;
Yet of Thy Passion, Lord!
What know these times abhorred,
Save the rude soldier's stripes, sharp sponge, and piercing spear?
"Christmas,1870" by Alfred Austin

In news:

Sponges offer squishy, squeezy, playful discoveries.
'Sponge' school helps kids soak in knowledge.
Cosmetic wedges or sponge pieces.
View all Sponge 's Chart History.
Made from kitchen sponges that are cut up and tied together, they last longer than water balloons and are softer and splashier than regular balls.
Use new sponges , and be sure not to wet them ahead of time.
Repeat with the other two sponges .
Articles Tagged ' sponge cake'.
Mother's Day Cake Recipe: Coffee Sponge Cake.
At Last, Bubba the Love Sponge Enters Petraeus Scandal.
Sponge stamps are easy to use and leave a clean, sharp design.
To keep colors fresh, make a sponge stamp for each color.
Sponge Cake with Chocolate Frosting.
Binder Clip as Sponge Stand.
12-14-11: The Big Green Sponge .

In science:

The part of the phase diagram involving the sponge phases is in fact equivalent to the phase diagram of the Z2 gauge-Higgs system (for a review, see, e.g., ).
Amphiphilic Membranes
This has a critical point as a function of τ0 , corresponding to the symmetric-asymmetric sponge transition.
Amphiphilic Membranes
There is correspondingly a phase transition from the symmetric sponge to the sponge with free edges, also belonging to the Ising universality class.
Amphiphilic Membranes
The authors then go on to suggest that the MTL in this system can be related to the symmetric sponge/sponge-with-free-edges (S/SFE) transition considered by Huse and Leibler .
Amphiphilic Membranes
The sub ject of interfaces in random media has many application, such as directed polymers in a random medium, domain walls is dirty magnets, and interfaces in random sponges.
Variational approach to interfaces in random media: negative variances and replica symmetry breaking