Definition of meerschaum in US English:

meerschaum

noun

  • 1A soft white claylike material consisting of hydrated magnesium silicate, found chiefly in Turkey.

    1. 1.1 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.’
      • ‘Like Dupin, Dr. Bender smokes a meerschaum pipe, filled with cheap tobacco.’
      • ‘You see him nursing a meerschaum pipe.’
      • ‘Well, donning my deerstalker and lighting my meerschaum I'd start at the bottom.’
      • ‘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.’
      tobacco pipe, briar, briar pipe, clay pipe
      View synonyms

Origin

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).

Pronunciation