Think of a large, fluffy, colorful feather and you are imagining a plume, something that can be used decoratively, often in hats or vases, just as it creates a decorative element for the bird it comes from.

We can trace the present word plume was probably taken from the Old English word plūmfether. Going back further, we can find the Latin pluma meaning "feather" or "down." Plume is often applied to a large puff of smoke or any mass that spreads into the air from a single source. If you see a plume of smoke coming from the chimney, the fireplace is going. If you see a plume of smoke coming from the window, call the fire department.

Primary Meanings of plume

the light horny waterproof structure forming the external covering of birds
deck with a plume
dress or groom with elaborate care
rip off; ask an unreasonable price
Full Definitions of plume

n the light horny waterproof structure forming the external covering of birds

feather, plumage
show 15 types...
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down, down feather
soft fine feathers
a supplementary feather (usually small) on the underside of the base of the shaft of some feathers in some birds
contour feather
feathers covering the body of an adult bird and determining its shape
alula, bastard wing, spurious wing
tuft of small stiff feathers on the first digit of a bird's wing
the downy feathers of marabou storks are used for trimming garments
long slender feather on the necks of e.g. turkeys and pheasants
flight feather, pinion, quill, quill feather
any of the larger wing or tail feathers of a bird
a feather covering the shoulder of a bird
duck down
down of the duck
goose down
down of the goose
swan's down
down of the swan
down feather of young birds; persists in some adult birds
saddle feather, saddle hackle
a long narrow feather on the back (saddle) of a domestic fowl
primary, primary feather, primary quill
one of the main flight feathers projecting along the outer edge of a bird's wing
tail feather
feather growing from the tail (uropygium) of a bird
Type of:
body covering
any covering for the body or a body part
animal material
material derived from animals

n a feather or cluster of feathers worn as an ornament

aigret, aigrette
a long plume (especially one of egret feathers) worn on a hat or a piece of jewelry in the shape of a plume
a feathered plume on a helmet
Type of:
a decoration of color or interest that is added to relieve plainness

n anything that resembles a feather in shape or lightness

“a plume of smoke”
“grass with large plumes
Type of:
form, shape
the spatial arrangement of something as distinct from its substance

v deck with a plume

“a plumed helmet”
Type of:
bedeck, bedight, deck

v clean with one's bill

Type of:
arrange, set up
put into a proper or systematic order
clean, make clean
make clean by removing dirt, filth, or unwanted substances from

v form a plume

“The chimneys were pluming the sky”
“The engine was pluming black smoke”
Type of:
form, shape
give shape or form to

v dress or groom with elaborate care

dress, preen, primp
dress, get dressed
put on clothes
Type of:
attire, deck out, deck up, dress up, fancy up, fig out, fig up, get up, gussy up, overdress, prink, rig out, tog out, tog up, trick out, trick up
put on special clothes to appear particularly appealing and attractive

v be proud of

congratulate, pride
Type of:
experience, feel
undergo an emotional sensation or be in a particular state of mind

v rip off; ask an unreasonable price

fleece, gazump, hook, overcharge, pluck, rob, soak, surcharge
charge (someone) too little money
extort, gouge, rack, squeeze, wring
obtain by coercion or intimidation
get or extort (money or other possessions) from someone
Type of:
cheat, chisel, rip off
deprive somebody of something by deceit

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