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Grass sponge

Source : Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

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.

Nimble Will, a kind of drop seed. {Muhlenbergia diffsa}. Orchard
grass, pasture and hay. {Dactylis glomerata}. Porcupine grass,
troublesome to sheep. Northwest. {Stipa spartea}. Quaking grass,
ornamental. {Briza media} and {maxima}. Quitch, or Quick, grass,
etc., a weed. {Agropyrum repens}. Ray grass. Same as {Rye grass}
(below). Redtop, pasture and hay. {Agrostis vulgaris}.
Red-topped buffalo grass, forage. Northwest. {Poa tenuifolia}.
Reed canary grass, of slight value. {Phalaris arundinacea}. Reed
meadow grass, hay. North. {Glyceria aquatica}. Ribbon grass, a
striped leaved form of {Reed canary grass}. Rye grass, pasture,
hay. {Lolium perenne}, var. Seneca grass, fragrant basket work,
etc. North. {Hierochloa borealis}. Sesame grass. Same as {Gama
grass} (above). Sheep's fescue, sheep pasture, native in
Northern Europe and Asia. {Festuca ovina}. Small reed grass,
meadow pasture and hay. North. {Deyeuxia Canadensis}. Spear
grass, Same as {Meadow grass} (above). Squirrel-tail grass,
troublesome to animals. Seacoast and Northwest. {Hordeum
jubatum}. Switch grass, hay, cut young. {Panicum virgatum}.
Timothy, cut young, the best of hay. North. {Phleum pratense}.
Velvet grass, hay on poor soil. South. {Holcus lanatus}. Vernal
grass, pasture, hay, lawn. {Anthoxanthum odoratum}. Wire grass,
valuable in pastures. {Poa compressa}. Wood grass, Indian grass,
hay. {Chrysopogon nutans}.

   Note: Many plants are popularly called grasses which are not
         true grasses botanically considered, such as black
         grass, goose grass, star grass, etc.

   {Black grass}, a kind of small rush ({Juncus Gerardi}),
      growing in salt marshes, used for making salt hay.

   {Grass of the Andes}, an oat grass, the {Arrhenatherum
      avenaceum} of Europe.

   {Grass of Parnassus}, a plant of the genus {Parnassia}
      growing in wet ground. The European species is {P.
      palustris}; in the United States there are several

   {Grass bass} (Zo["o]l.), the calico bass.

   {Grass bird}, the dunlin.

   {Grass cloth}, a cloth woven from the tough fibers of the
      grass-cloth plant.

   {Grass-cloth plant}, a perennial herb of the Nettle family
      ({B[oe]hmeria nivea or Urtica nivea}), which grows in
      Sumatra, China, and Assam, whose inner bark has fine and
      strong fibers suited for textile purposes.

   {Grass finch}. (Zo["o]l.)
      (a) A common American sparrow ({Po["o]c[ae]tes
          gramineus}); -- called also {vesper sparrow} and
          {bay-winged bunting}.
      (b) Any Australian finch, of the genus {Po["e]phila}, of
          which several species are known.

   {Grass lamb}, a lamb suckled by a dam running on pasture land
      and giving rich milk.

   {Grass land}, land kept in grass and not tilled.

   {Grass moth} (Zo["o]l.), one of many small moths of the genus
      {Crambus}, found in grass.

   {Grass oil}, a fragrant essential volatile oil, obtained in
      India from grasses of the genus {Andropogon}, etc.; --
      used in perfumery under the name of {citronella}, {ginger
      grass oil}, {lemon grass oil}, {essence of verbena} etc.

   {Grass owl} (Zo["o]l.), a South African owl ({Strix

   {Grass parrakeet} (Zo["o]l.), any of several species of
      Australian parrots, of the genus {Euphemia}; -- also
      applied to the zebra parrakeet.

   {Grass plover} (Zo["o]l.), the upland or field plover.

   {Grass poly} (Bot.), a species of willowwort ({Lythrum
      Hyssopifolia}). --Johnson.

   {Crass quit} (Zo["o]l.), one of several tropical American
      finches of the genus {Euetheia}. The males have most of
      the head and chest black and often marked with yellow.

   {Grass snake}. (Zo["o]l.)
      (a) The common English, or ringed, snake ({Tropidonotus
      (b) The common green snake of the Northern United States.
          See {Green snake}, under {Green}.

   {Grass snipe} (Zo["o]l.), the pectoral sandpiper ({Tringa
      maculata}); -- called also {jacksnipe} in America.

   {Grass spider} (Zo["o]l.), a common spider ({Agelena
      n[ae]via}), which spins flat webs on grass, conspicuous
      when covered with dew.

   {Grass sponge} (Zo["o]l.), an inferior kind of commercial
      sponge from Florida and the Bahamas.

   {Grass table}. (Arch.) See {Earth table}, under {Earth}.

   {Grass vetch} (Bot.), a vetch ({Lathyrus Nissolia}), with
      narrow grasslike leaves.

   {Grass widow}. [Cf. Prov. R. an unmarried mother, G.
      strohwittwe a mock widow, Sw. gr["a]senka a grass widow.]
      (a) An unmarried woman who is a mother. [Obs.]
      (b) A woman separated from her husband by abandonment or
          prolonged absence; a woman living apart from her
          husband. [Slang.]

   {Grass wrack} (Bot.) eelgrass.

   {To bring to grass} (Mining.), to raise, as ore, to the
      surface of the ground.

   {To put to grass}, {To put out to grass}, to put out to graze
      a season, as cattle.
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