Definition for SPUNGE

SPUNGE, n. [L. spongia; Gr. σπογγια; Fr. eponge; It. spugna; Sp. esponja; Sax. spongea; D. spons.]

  1. A porous marine substance, found adhering to rocks, shells, &c., under water, and on rocks about the shore at low water. It is generally supposed to be of animal origin, and it consists of a fibrous reticulated substance, covered by a soft gelatinous matter, but in which no polypes have hitherto been observed. It is so porous as to imbibe a great quantity of water, and is used for various purposes in the arts and in surgery. – Encyc. Cuvier.
  2. In gunnery, an instrument for cleaning cannon after a discharge. It consists of a cylinder of wood, covered with lamb akin. For small guns, it is commonly fixed to one end of the handle of the rammer.
  3. In the manege, the extremity or point of a horse-shoe, answering to the heel. Pyrotechnical spunge, is made of mushrooms or fungi, growing on old oaks, ash, fir, &c., 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. – Encyc.

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