Definitions for oakumˈoʊ kəm
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
loose fiber obtained by untwisting and picking apart old ropes, used as a material for caulking.
Category: Nautical, Navy
Origin of oakum:
bef. 1000; ME okome, OE ācuma, ācumba lit., offcombings
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
A material, consisting of tarred fibres, used to caulk or pack joints in plumbing, masonry, and wooden shipbuilding.
Origin: From okome, from acumba, a derivative of acemban, from uz- + kambijanan, from uds- + ǵombʰ-. More at out, comb.
the material obtained by untwisting and picking into loose fiber old hemp ropes; -- used for calking the seams of ships, stopping leaks, etc
the coarse portion separated from flax or hemp in nackling
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
name given to fibres of old tarry ropes sundered by teasing, and employed in caulking the seams between planks in ships; the teasing of oakum is an occupation for prisoners in jails.