Definition of comb in English:

comb

noun

  • 1A strip of plastic, metal, or wood with a row of narrow teeth, used for untangling or arranging the hair.

    • ‘He took out his pocket comb and ran it through his thinning hair.’
    • ‘Use a wide toothed comb to distribute the mixture through the hair.’
    • ‘After breaking another tooth off of my comb, I realized that my hair was the boss.’
    • ‘Grimacing, she pulled the comb through her tangled mass of long brown hair.’
    • ‘I dressed quickly in the clothes set out and I ran a wooden comb through my long dark hair.’
    • ‘This involves lifting the hair with a metal comb and burning off the ends with a lighted taper.’
    • ‘A man looked at him through a mirror in the bathroom, comb in hand.’
    • ‘Try coating the hair with mineral oil and using a special nit comb to remove them more easily.’
    • ‘I quickly brushed my teeth and ran a comb through my hair.’
    • ‘However, combing through the hair with a louse comb and examining the teeth of the comb for living lice detects more cases than direct visualization alone.’
    • ‘Otherwise, find a comb with very fine teeth: the space between the teeth of the comb should be no more than 0.3 mm.’
    • ‘Towel dry the hair and use a wide toothed comb or pick to untangle.’
    • ‘Some kind of comb was dragged through my hair, leaving a burning path along my scalp.’
    • ‘Sighing, I grabbed a comb and began untangling the knots in my black hair.’
    • ‘I took the fine toothed comb and skimmed my hair.’
    • ‘She pulled a comb out of her pocket and started to brush my hair.’
    • ‘I ran a comb through my own hair and stared dejectedly at my reflection.’
    • ‘I stood in the mirror, dragging the comb through my neatly trimmed hair.’
    • ‘He stumbled to the bathroom, brushed his teeth, and ran a wet comb through his hair.’
    • ‘She stood behind her mother, ivory comb in hand, brushing through the voluminous red hair.’
    1. 1.1in singular An instance of untangling or arranging the hair with a comb.
      ‘she gave her hair a comb’
      • ‘I've taken to wearing baseball caps instead of having a slight comb in the morning.’
      • ‘Giving my hair a quick comb through with my fingers I turned around to see that the door was open.’
      • ‘With a quick comb of her hair, and the applying of a light coat of make-up and a flowery fragrance, she was out the door.’
    2. 1.2 A short curved type of comb, worn by women to hold hair in place or as an ornament.
      • ‘Besides the explosion of headbands and jeweled hair combs, watch for a continual rise in the popularity of all types of silk and couture hair flowers.’
      • ‘Adorn your new curls with your favorite accessories such as headbands, jeweled side combs or similar.’
      • ‘A large tortoiseshell comb in her hair saved her life.’
      • ‘Her hair was swept back with jeweled silver combs and diamond-stud hair pins into a smooth chignon.’
      • ‘Jeweled combs also made a huge splash at the Golden Globes.’
      • ‘She wasn't wearing anything that could be considered feminine except maybe her hair comb.’
      • ‘She grabbed her comb and a hair tie then put her thick, black hair into a high ponytail.’
      • ‘On top were two simple silver combs to pull your hair back.’
      • ‘Another woman eats an ice cream as her young daughter eyes the sparkly hair bobbles and shiny combs in a shop window.’
      • ‘He was going to curl my short auburn hair and put it up in combs so the ringlets would lay all over the place.’
      • ‘Vincent sat on her bed and watched her, captivated, as she stood before the mirror, adjusting the comb in her disheveled hair.’
      • ‘‘Finished,’ I called out and pulled the gold combs out of my hair as he turned back to face me.’
      • ‘She reached up and pulled the combs from her hair.’
      • ‘These are worn with mantillas (lacy scarves worn over the hair and shoulders), long earrings, and hair ornaments such as combs or flowers.’
      • ‘He slowly reached up his hand to brush away the wet hair that was clinging to her face, escaped from the hair combs which had been lost in the depths of the water.’
      • ‘No hats, combs, kerchiefs or anything but hair should be on your head.’
      • ‘She sprayed perfume around herself into the air, and pinned the crystal combs into her hair.’
      • ‘Soak hair-care items like combs, barrettes, hair ties or bands, headbands, and brushes in rubbing alcohol or medicated shampoo for 1 hour.’
  • 2A device for separating and dressing textile fibers.

    • ‘If a comb was used, this would be to get the fibres parallel.’
    1. 2.1 A row of brass points for collecting the electricity in an electrostatic generator.
  • 3The red fleshy crest on the head of a domestic fowl, especially a rooster.

    • ‘A new wave of face-smoothing shots derived from a variety of substances, including rooster combs and newborn foreskin, are expected to hit the market soon.’
    • ‘Males with longer combs are preferred as mates and are more likely to win in aggressive encounters, so we wanted to see if changes in immune status were reflected in comb length or other ornamental characters.’
    • ‘For example, a rooster's comb contains a hyaluronic acid that can be injected into your face to smooth those wrinkles.’
    • ‘The female's plumage is overall gray-brown and the male appears similar, although he has orange-yellow combs over the eyes and light gray tail feathers.’
    • ‘For instance, the comb of a male jungle fowl deteriorates when the bird is infested with a gut parasite, but the parasite has no effect on its plumage.’
    • ‘Cracids may have a casque, hard comb, wattle or fleshy knob at the base of the bill.’
    • ‘As in other grouse species, red grouse combs are larger and brighter in males, and their size is testosterone-dependent.’
    • ‘Expression of combs and wattles is directly connected to androgen production, whereas feather ornament size seldom depends on current levels of testosterone secretion.’
    • ‘However, although males can control comb size, they cannot hide their combs completely.’
    • ‘The finely woven patterns in the feathers and wings, combs and waddles, beaks and tails, run in three directions: horizontally, vertically and diagonally.’
    • ‘And instead of pheromones, they depend on beautiful feathers and combs to attract mates.’
    • ‘My shadow was moderately tall and skinny, rat's nest hair silhouetted like a rooster's comb.’
    • ‘Maternal mass was correlated with male offspring mass and comb length.’
    • ‘The combs and neck sacs of males become enlarged during the breeding season.’
    • ‘Resplendent in bright orange, black and red, his comb, wattles and ear lobes have been shorn off.’
    • ‘They get the name rooster because the dorsal fin looks similar to the comb on a cockerel's head.’
    • ‘At a given moment two observers independently ranked a specific male comb size.’
    • ‘There are seven distinctive types of combs alone on chickens - rose, strawberry, single, cushion, buttercup, pea, and V-shaped, in case you were wondering.’
  • 4

    short for honeycomb (sense 1 of the noun)
    • ‘A bird builds a nest, or the rabbit a burrow, the bee its comb, the beaver a dam, by nature, as Aristotle would say.’
    • ‘Honey bees occasionally invade homes and establish a colony, building combs of wax containing honey, pollen and brood in wall spaces.’
    • ‘Chewing a piece of comb honey daily often helps to clear the nose and sinuses during hay fever attacks.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Untangle or arrange (the hair) by drawing a comb through it.

    ‘neatly combed hair’
    • ‘His hair was neatly combed back, and he held an umbrella over his head.’
    • ‘He combed out all the tangles and made it shine even more.’
    • ‘My hair was combed neatly this time, and I wore a bit more makeup than I usually did (which consisted of eyeliner and lip-gloss).’
    • ‘His thinning hair, once carefully combed to the side, began to work its way loose.’
    • ‘Michael had thick caramel brown hair, which was combed to the side.’
    • ‘His normally messy, disheveled brown hair was neatly combed back, revealing his big green eyes.’
    • ‘He was muscular, and had wonderful chestnut brown hair that was combed perfectly to the side.’
    • ‘Her red hair has been neatly combed back and braided.’
    • ‘His hair was neatly combed and his beard looked smooth.’
    • ‘Her brown, frizzy hair was neatly combed and in a barrette.’
    • ‘He gently combed the tangles out of her hair and deftly plaited a long simple braid.’
    • ‘Her blonde hair was carefully combed, and she had put too much make-up.’
    • ‘For once, his hair had been combed neatly for the occasion.’
    • ‘His hair had been combed neatly and he was wearing a hint of cologne when he outreached his hand for her.’
    • ‘His rather fashionable beard has been carefully combed and so has his shoulder-length hair.’
    • ‘Slightly built, with neatly combed gray hair and a trimmed mustache, he looks out at us through thick eyeglasses.’
    • ‘Her marvelous hair was shining brighter and was combed perfectly.’
    • ‘His hair was neatly combed back and he looked very handsome.’
    • ‘He picked up his blazer to hide his wrinkled dress shirt, and quickly combed his fingers through his hair.’
    groom, untangle, disentangle, smooth out, straighten, arrange, neaten, tidy, dress, rake
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1comb something out Remove something from the hair by drawing a comb through it.
      ‘she combed the burrs out of the dog's coat’
      • ‘My hair's knots were combed out painlessly and I was redressed in fresh linen.’
      • ‘After brushing my teeth and combing the knots out of my shoulder length hair I went to the wardrobe to retrieve the uniform I was to wear today.’
      • ‘He gently combed the tangles out of her hair and deftly plaited a long simple braid.’
      • ‘‘There's men approaching the wall, Commander,’ he said as he tried to comb the icicles out of his beard with his gloved fingers.’
      • ‘I smiled happily, dried and dressed myself, and combed the tangles out of my hair.’
      • ‘‘Good morning,’ I say, trying to comb the tangles out of my wet hair.’
      • ‘Head lice are hard to spot on the hair but can be removed, and then identified, by combing them out.’
      • ‘I put her into the house, took the dogs for their walk, and came back to find her reasonably dry and silky apart from the tail which she had given up on - I combed the mud out of it while she screeched with fury and tried to bite me.’
      • ‘Jane ran her fingers through her hair, combing the tangles out as she harshly pulled her hands through the snarls.’
      • ‘When you get home you have to comb it out of your hair.’
      • ‘The oil washes out with regular shampoo and the nits can be combed out easily because the oil loosens them.’
  • 2Prepare (wool, flax, or cotton) for manufacture with a comb.

    ‘the socks are made of soft combed cotton’
    • ‘The fibres damaged the skin on the women's hands if their job was to comb the flax by hand.’
    • ‘All the literature said you had to ret the fibres and then comb them, basically an industrial process.’
    • ‘They were made of long wool fibers that were first combed to straighten them, spun tightly then woven in fancy weave structures.’
    • ‘The second largest wool combing plant in Australia closed its doors.’
    • ‘She is combing out flax and keeping herself cheerful with a pitcher of wine.’
    separate, dress, card, tease, hackle, heckle, hatchel
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  • 3Search carefully and systematically.

    ‘police combed the area for the murder weapon’
    no object ‘his mother combed through the cardboard boxes’
    • ‘But you'll have to comb through humbling rosters of seven-figure properties first.’
    • ‘Multipliers are the biggy for linking tricks, and after combing through a course a few times, players can locate and nail these for bragging rights.’
    • ‘He was daydreaming about them combing the market for horses when he collided with someone.’
    • ‘More than 130 experts comb the fair before the opening to remove questionable items.’
    • ‘The U.S. Congress has about five different committees, and they are combing through documents.’
    • ‘Divorce lawyers say clients are furious that neighbors are combing through the details of their cases (and are even brazen enough to discuss them with them).’
    • ‘Organized gangs located potential victims by combing through the White Pages, and they paid for the postage with bogus stamps.’
    • ‘They're still combing through the wreckage now, trying to figure out what exactly happened.’
    • ‘Fatal crash investigators combed the scene yesterday and would return today to continue their investigations.’
    • ‘But it will still take us some time to comb through the evidence and make sure that we're not missing anything.’
    • ‘Police are combing the streets, handing out flyers and watching airports and bus terminals.’
    • ‘I spent most of yesterday combing through ads and making phone calls.’
    • ‘I had been combing through the wreckage, searching for anyone that might have survived.’
    • ‘They combed through medical records and found 1,458 wrist fractures.’
    • ‘He spent a long time combing through the patient records before coming across the professor's signature.’
    • ‘Television footage showed clothing strewn on the charred ground and investigators combing the site at night behind a cordon.’
    • ‘The murder scene was sealed off yesterday as forensic experts combed for clues.’
    • ‘Officers combed surrounding counties for tear gas, sprays, concussion grenades, and munitions.’
    • ‘Her disappearance provoked a massive public response, and hundreds of police officers combed the city streets.’
    • ‘The Commissioner, however, spent the time engaging an army of investigators to comb through union records.’
    search, scour, look around in, explore, sweep, probe, hunt through, look through, scrabble about in, scrabble around in, root about in, root around in, ferret in, ferret about in, ferret around in, rummage about in, rummage around in, rummage round in, rummage in, rummage through, forage through, fish about in, fish around in, poke about in, poke around in, dig in, grub about in, grub around in, delve in, go through, sift through, rake, rifle through, ransack, turn over, go through with a fine-tooth comb
    View synonyms

Origin

Old English camb, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch kam and German Kamm.

Pronunciation

comb

/koʊm//kōm/