• A feather of a bird, especially a large or showy one used as a decoration.
  • A cluster of feathers worn as an ornament, especially on a helmet; a hackle.
  • A token of honour or prowess; that on which one prides oneself; a prize or reward.
  • The vane of a feather, especially when on a quill pen or the fletching of an arrow.



  • From Late Middle English plum, plume, from Anglo-Norman plum, plume and Middle French, Old French plume, plome (modern French plume), and directly from its etymon Latin plūma (compare Late Latin plūma), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *plewk-. The English word is a pluma.
  • Senses 2–4 (“to arrange and preen the feathers of; to congratulate (oneself) proudly; to strip of feathers”) are from Late Middle English plumen, from Anglo-Norman and Middle French plumer, from plūma (see etymology 1).
  • Sense 5 (“to fan out or spread in a cloud”) is derived from plume.

Modern English dictionary

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