ETYM Old Fren. esponge, French éponge, Latin spongia, Greek. Related to Fungus, Spunk.
Any saclike simple invertebrate of the phylum Porifera, usually marine. A sponge has a hollow body, its cavity lined by cells bearing flagellae, whose whiplike movements keep water circulating, bringing in a stream of food particles. The body walls are strengthened with protein (as in the bath sponge) or small spikes of silica, or a framework of calcium carbonate.
1. A porous pad of rubber, cellulose, or sponge used as a cleaning tool.
2. A porous mass of interlacing fibers the forms the internal skeleton of various marine animals and usable to absorb water.
3. Primitive multicellular marine animal whose porous body is supported by a fibrous skeletal framework; usually occurs in sessile colonies; SYN. poriferan, parazoan.
1. To wipe with a sponge, so as to clean or moisten.
2. To soak up with a sponge.
3. To erase with a sponge; as of words on a blackboard.
4. To gather sponges, in the ocean.