listen to the pronunciation of oakum
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A material, consisting of tarred fibres, used to caulk or pack joints in plumbing, masonry, and wooden shipbuilding
hemp-fiber obtained by untwisting and picking out loosely the yarns of old hemp rope
{n} old ropes or cords quite untwisted
The packing material used before sealing a hubbed cast-iron fitting with lead Back to alphabetical list
Asphalt-saturated ropelike material used as a packing in cast-iron soil pipe joints prior to pouring molten lead
The coarse portion separated from flax or hemp in nackling
tarred hemp or manila fibers made from old and condemned ropes which have been picked apart They were used for caulking the seams of decks and sides of a wooden ship in order to make them watertight The unpicking of oakum was considered a naval punishment, every man condemned to cells on board ship was made to unpick a pound of oakum daily It was a tedious and slow process, and very hard on fingers and thumbs
Hemp-like fibers in loose, ropey strands such as used by plumbers for packing pipe bell pints, and formerly used as joint filler before caulking where deep joints were present Since superseded by materials such as ethafoam, polyethylene, etc , because of their greater freedom from ingredients that would stain masonry
Caulking material made from rope junk, old rope, and rope scraps; it was unwound, picked apart, and the fibers were rolled and soaked in pitch before being driven into the planking seams
Loose hemp or jute fiber that's impregnated with tar or pitch and used to caulk large seams or for packing plumbing pipe joints
the material, consisting of tarred fibres from old rope, used for caulking or packing joints in a wooden ship
The material obtained by untwisting and picking into loose fiber old hemp ropes; used for calking the seams of ships, stopping leaks, etc
Medicated hemp used for packing
A caulking material used in waterproofing the seams between strakes of planking It is a mass of strong, pliable tarred rope fibers obtained from scrap rope, which swell when wet The fibers are soaked in pine tar and loosely bundled together
Loose hemp or jute fiber that is impregnated with tar or pitch used to pack cast iron plumbing joints
Untwisted rope; used for caulking the seams (i e spaces between the planks) of a ship It is forced in by chisel and mallet To pick oakum To make oakum by untwisting old ropes A common employment in prisons and workhouses
{i} fibers taken from unraveled old ropes that when soaked in tar are used for caulking gaps in boats
small pieces of old rope used for filling up small holes in the sides of wooden ships
loose hemp or jute fiber obtained by unravelling old ropes; when impregnated with tar it was used to caulk seams and pack joints in wooden ships





    [ 'O-k&m ] (noun.) 15th century. From Middle English okome, from Old English ācumba (“oakum", literally, "that which has been combed out, off-combings”), a derivative of ācemban (“to comb out”), from Proto-Germanic *uz-kambianan (“to comb out”), from Proto-Indo-European *uds-, *ūd- (“out”) + Proto-Indo-European *g'ombh-, *g'embh- (“tooth, nail; to pierce, gnaw through”). More at out, comb.

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