noun Etymology: Middle English okum, from Old English ācumba tow, from ā- (separative & perfective prefix) + -cumba (akin to Old English camb comb) — more at abide Date: 15th century loosely twisted hemp or jute fiber impregnated with tar or a tar derivative and used in caulking seams and packing joints

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oakum — and tools for caulking …   Wikipedia

  • Oakum — Oak um ([=o]k [u^]m), n. [AS. [=a]cumba; pref. [=a] (cf. G. er , Goth. us , orig. meaning, out) + cemban to comb, camb comb. See {Comb}.] 1. The material obtained by untwisting and picking into loose fiber old hemp ropes; used for calking the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oakum — (n.) loose fiber obtained from taking apart old hemp ropes, early 15c., from O.E. acumba tow, oakum, flax fibers separated by combing, lit. what is combed out, from a away, out, off + stem of cemban to comb, from camb a comb; from P.Gmc. *us… …   Etymology dictionary

  • oakum — [ō′kəm] n. [ME okom < OE acumba, tow, oakum < a , away, out + camb,COMB1: lit., what is combed out] loose, stringy hemp fiber gotten by taking apart old ropes and treated as with tar, used as a caulking material …   English World dictionary

  • Oakum — (engl., spr. ōköm, »Werg«), altes Verbandmaterial, durch Zerfasern geteerter Tauenden hergestellt, wirkt durch den Gehalt an Teerbestandteilen stark antiseptisch …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Oakum — (engl., spr. óhkömm), ein durch Zerfasern geteerter Tauenden hergestelltes, namentlich in England und Amerika früher viel gebrauchtes und wie Scharpie benutztes Verbandmaterial …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • oakum — ► NOUN chiefly historical ▪ loose fibre obtained by untwisting old rope, used especially in caulking wooden ships. ORIGIN Old English, «off combings» …   English terms dictionary

  • OAKUM —    name given to fibres of old tarry ropes sundered by teasing, and employed in caulking the seams between planks in ships; the teasing of oakum is an occupation for prisoners in jails …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • oakum — /oh keuhm/, n. loose fiber obtained by untwisting and picking apart old ropes, used for caulking the seams of ships. [bef. 1000; ME okome, OE acuma, var. of ACUMBA, lit., offcombings, equiv. to a separative prefix (see A 3) + cumba (see COMB1)] * …   Universalium

  • oakum — noun A material, consisting of tarred fibres, used to caulk or pack joints in plumbing, masonry, and wooden shipbuilding …   Wiktionary

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