Definition of meerschaum in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A soft white clay-like material consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate, found chiefly in Turkey.

    1. 1.1[count noun] A tobacco pipe with a bowl made from meerschaum.
      • ‘The Honourable Sir Ralph Mountharten sharply rapped his meerschaum pipe against the surface of his mahogany writing desk.’
      • ‘Well, donning my deerstalker and lighting my meerschaum I'd start at the bottom.’
      • ‘You see him nursing a meerschaum pipe.’
      • ‘The biggest surprise was Everett's Holmes: a compelling, brilliant, darkly original character, much closer to the original stories than to the deerstalkers and meerschaums and Basil Rathbone.’
      • ‘Like Dupin, Dr. Bender smokes a meerschaum pipe, filled with cheap tobacco.’
      tobacco pipe, meerschaum, clay pipe
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Late 18th century: from German, literally sea foam, from Meer sea + Schaum foam, translation of Persian kef-i-daryā (alluding to the frothy appearance of the silicate).