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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Combing \Comb"ing\, n.

  1. The act or process of using a comb or a number of combs; as, the combing of one's hair; the combing of wool.

    Note: The process of combing is used in straightening wool of long staple; short wool is carded.

  2. pl.

    1. That which is caught or collected with a comb, as loose, tangled hair.

    2. Hair arranged to be worn on the head.

      The baldness, thinness, and . . . deformity of their hair is supplied by borders and combings.
      --Jer. Taylor.

    3. (Naut.) See Coamings.

      Combing machine (Textile Manuf.), a machine for combing wool, flax, cotton, etc., and separating the longer and more valuable fiber from the shorter. See also Carding machine, under Carding.


Comb \Comb\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Combed; p. pr. & vb. n. Combing.] To disentangle, cleanse, or adjust, with a comb; to lay smooth and straight with, or as with, a comb; as, to comb hair or wool. See under Combing.

Comb down his hair; look, look! it stands upright.


n. The act by which something is combed. vb. (present participle of comb English)


n. the act of drawing a comb through hair; "his hair needed a comb" [syn: comb]

Combing (torture)

Combing, sometimes known as carding, (despite carding being a completely different process), is a sometimes-fatal form of torture in which iron combs designed to prepare wool and other fibres for woolen spinning are used to scrape, tear, and flay the victim's flesh.


Combing is a method for preparing carded fiber for spinning. Combing is divided into linear and circular combing. The Noble comb is an example of circular combing. The French comb is an example of linear combing. The process of combing is accompanied by gilling, a process of evening out carded or combed top making it suitable for spinning. Combing separates out short fibers by means of a rotating ring or rectilinear row of steel pins. The fibers in the ' top' it produces, have been straightened and lie parallel to each other. When combing wool, the discarded short fibers are called noils, and are ground up into shoddy.

In general there are two main systems of preparing fiber for yarn: the worsted system and the woollen system. The worsted system is defined by the removal of short fibers by combing and top preparation by gilling. In the woollen system short fibers are retained, and it may or may not involve combing.

Usage examples of "combing".

She unpinned her hair, which was only slightly damp, and was combing out the golden locks when Amine came back into the room.

Mary Jane pulled the turban off her head and shook out a massive amount of black hair, combing it with her fingers to detangle the waist length mane.

His hair was dryish and thinnish and untidy and brownish and needed further combing.

Instead, each individual vessel was blasting at maximum for the position in space in which it would form one unit of a formation englobing at a distance of light-years the entire Solarian System, and each of those hurtling hundreds of ships was literally combing all circumambient space with its furiously-driven detector beams.

I just had a problem combing brain and exoskeletal matter out of my hair.

In the evening Anastasia accompanied me to my room with a candle, and seeing that I had no valet she insisted combing my hair.

Now, the queue had undergone its hebdomadal combing just an hour before Raoul announced his intention to proceed to Naples in the yawl, and it would have been innovating on the only thing that Ithuel treated with reverence to undo the work until another week had completed its round.

Having nothing else with which to occupy her time, Laure spent the better part of each day combing through the shops along Royal Street looking for bargains.

In two minutes the Mercatorial fleet was through without loss, and a minute later its entire fire-pattern was rearward: a swirling skirt of crimson lines combing and coning into the emptying depths of space behind.

Though the eight-year-old was especially given to combing the battlefields of Prussia for ownerless uniforms, there was nonetheless a model, the above-mentioned miller Matern, who was portrayed directly, without Prussian trappings, but with his flour sack over his shoulder.

She wondered what Farnsworth and her coworkers at the Roanoke office were doing right now: Combing the hills for the two of them?

Lawyers for the saucerians had been combing the sparsely populated desert around the base seeking people with illnesses, real or imaginary, that they could blame on the presence of the alien spaceship.

She got quite stroppy with me because I confessed to a day in Venice instead of combing the neighbourhood for Drew.

Combing Whinney regularly had given her the idea to use the teasel on the fibers, and it was a natural step to try it on her own hair.

I found myself rhythmically combing the soft underfur free of the coarser guard hairs.