from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Foam or froth on a liquid, as on the sea.
  • intransitive v. To froth or foam.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Foam or froth of water, particularly that of sea water.
  • v. To froth.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Frothy matter raised on liquids by boiling, effervescence, or agitation; froth; foam; scum.
  • intransitive v. To froth; to foam.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To froth; foam.
  • Same as spoom.
  • n. Froth; foam; scum; frothy matter raised on liquors or fluid substances by boiling, effervescence, or agitation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. foam or froth on the sea
  • v. make froth or foam and become bubbly


Middle English, from Old French espume, from Latin spūma.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Anglo-Norman, from ultimately from Latin spūma. (Wiktionary)



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  • How close does the dragon's spume
    have to come? How wide does the crack
    in heaven have to split?
    What would people look like
    if we could see them as they are,
    soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
    reckless, pinned against time?

    - Ellen Bass, 'If You Knew'.

    September 7, 2009

  • "The sea of spuming thought foists up again
    The radiant bubble that she was. And then
    A deep up-pouring from some saltier well
    Within me, bursts its watery syllable."

    -from Wallace Stevens' Le Monocle de Mon Oncle

    August 3, 2009

  • Indeed. I know I have.

    March 22, 2008

  • It's okay, you can do it. I think all of us here have moved house at one time because we found a neighbourhood with a better word in it.

    March 22, 2008

  • I've always loved this word, although rarely have a chance to use it in conversation, living far away from the sea. This is a shame.

    March 22, 2008