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 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.’
      • ‘You see him nursing a meerschaum pipe.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Like Dupin, Dr. Bender smokes a meerschaum pipe, filled with cheap tobacco.’
      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