a. A thin toothed strip, as of plastic, used to smooth, arrange, or fasten the hair.
b. An implement, such as one for dressing and cleansing wool or other fiber, that resembles a hair comb in shape or use.
c. A currycomb.
a. The fleshy crest or ridge that grows on the crown of the head of domestic fowl and other birds and is most prominent in the male.
b. Something suggesting a fowl's comb in appearance or position.
3. A honeycomb.
v. combed, comb·ing, combs
a. To arrange or groom (the hair) with or as with a comb: combed her hair with a comb; combed his hair with his fingers.
b. To move through or pass across with a raking action: The wind combed the wheatfields.
2. To straighten and separate (wool or other fibers) using a comb.
3. To search thoroughly; look through: combed the dresser drawers for a lost bracelet.
4. To eliminate with or as with a comb: combed the snarls out of his hair.
1. To roll and break. Used of waves.
2. To make a thorough search: combed through the file for the contract.
[Middle English, from Old English camb, comb; see gembh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
(click for a larger image)comb
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.