Definition of comb in English:


Syllabification: comb
Pronunciation: /kōm


  • 1A strip of plastic, metal, or wood with a row of narrow teeth, used for untangling or arranging the hair.
    More example sentences
    • This involves lifting the hair with a metal comb and burning off the ends with a lighted taper.
    • I quickly brushed my teeth and ran a comb through my hair.
    • After breaking another tooth off of my comb, I realized that my hair was the boss.
  • 1.1 [in singular] An instance of untangling or arranging the hair with a comb: she gave her hair a comb
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • I've taken to wearing baseball caps instead of having a slight comb in the morning.
  • 1.2A short curved type of comb, worn by women to hold hair in place or as an ornament.
    More example sentences
    • 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.
    • No hats, combs, kerchiefs or anything but hair should be on your head.
    • ‘Finished,’ I called out and pulled the gold combs out of my hair as he turned back to face me.
  • 2Something resembling a comb in function or structure, in particular.
  • 2.1A device for separating and dressing textile fibers.
    More example sentences
    • If a comb was used, this would be to get the fibres parallel.
  • 2.2A 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.
    More example sentences
    • Resplendent in bright orange, black and red, his comb, wattles and ear lobes have been shorn off.
    • 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.
  • 4 short for honeycomb ( sense 1 of the noun).
    More example sentences
    • Honey bees occasionally invade homes and establish a colony, building combs of wax containing honey, pollen and brood in wall spaces.
    • A bird builds a nest, or the rabbit a burrow, the bee its comb, the beaver a dam, by nature, as Aristotle would say.
    • Chewing a piece of comb honey daily often helps to clear the nose and sinuses during hay fever attacks.


[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Untangle or arrange (the hair) by drawing a comb through it: (as adjective combed) neatly combed hair
    More example sentences
    • For once, his hair had been combed neatly for the occasion.
    • Slightly built, with neatly combed gray hair and a trimmed mustache, he looks out at us through thick eyeglasses.
    • His hair had been combed neatly and he was wearing a hint of cologne when he outreached his hand for her.
    groom, brush, untangle, smooth, straighten, neaten, tidy, arrange; curry
  • 1.1 (comb something out) Remove something from the hair by drawing a comb through it: she combed the burrs out of the dog’s coat
    More example sentences
    • When you get home you have to comb it out of your hair.
    • My hair's knots were combed out painlessly and I was redressed in fresh linen.
    • Jane ran her fingers through her hair, combing the tangles out as she harshly pulled her hands through the snarls.
  • 2Prepare (wool, flax, or cotton) for manufacture with a comb: (as adjective combed) the socks are made of soft combed cotton
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 3Search carefully and systematically: police combed the area for the murder weapon [no object]: his mother combed through the cardboard boxes
    More example sentences
    • Police are combing the streets, handing out flyers and watching airports and bus terminals.
    • Her disappearance provoked a massive public response, and hundreds of police officers combed the city streets.
    • I had been combing through the wreckage, searching for anyone that might have survived.
    search, scour, explore, sweep, probe, hunt through, forage through, poke around in, go over, go over with a fine-tooth comb; leave no stone unturned



More example sentences
  • We saw and admired the fine, comb-like plates on either side of the shoveller's bill, through which it filter feeds, something which is almost impossible to see even through binoculars.
  • This small, comb-like attachment is designed to break up crusty snow.
  • It uses two tiny comb-like structures (instead of fingers) laid one over each other.


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

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