A sponge has holes and soaks up liquid. One kind of sponge is a water-dwelling animal with a soft body and an asymmetrical shape. But the kind of sponge you use to clean the kitchen is usually man-made.

The sponge in the kitchen or bath looks a bit like the kind that grows in the ocean, porous and soft. Originally, those sponges were made from dried sea sponge, but it's more common these days for them to be manufactured. If you absorb knowledge or information easily, people may call you a sponge. And if you live off someone else's generosity, taking handouts and giving nothing in return, you sponge off of them.

Definitions of sponge

n primitive multicellular marine animal whose porous body is supported by a fibrous skeletal framework; usually occurs in sessile colonies

parazoan, poriferan
glass sponge
a siliceous sponge (with glassy spicules) of the class Hyalospongiae
Venus's flower basket
a deep-water marine sponge having a cylindrical skeleton of intricate glassy latticework; found in the waters of the East Indies and the eastern coast of Asia
Type of:
any animal lacking a backbone or notochord; the term is not used as a scientific classification

n a porous mass of interlacing fibers that forms the internal skeleton of various marine animals and usable to absorb water or any porous rubber or cellulose product similarly used

Type of:
absorbent, absorbent material
a material having capacity or tendency to absorb another substance

n someone able to acquire new knowledge and skills rapidly and easily

“she soaks up foreign languages like a sponge
quick study
Type of:
assimilator, learner, scholar
someone (especially a child) who learns (as from a teacher) or takes up knowledge or beliefs

n a follower who hangs around a host (without benefit to the host) in hope of gain or advantage

leech, parasite, sponger
Type of:
a person who accepts the leadership of another

v wipe with a sponge, so as to clean or moisten

Type of:
pass over, wipe
rub with a circular motion

v erase with a sponge; as of words on a blackboard

Type of:
efface, erase, rub out, score out, wipe off
remove by or as if by rubbing or erasing

v soak up with a sponge

Type of:
mop, mop up, wipe up
to wash or wipe with or as if with a mop

v ask for and get free; be a parasite

bum, cadge, grub, mooch
live off somebody's generosity
Type of:
come into possession of

v gather sponges, in the ocean

Type of:
collect, garner, gather, pull together
assemble or get together

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