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1. To wash, wipe, or moisten with or as with a sponge. I didn't have time to shower, so I just sponged down before heading home.
2. To wash, wipe, or moisten someone or something with or as with a sponge. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sponge" and "down." There's a great photo of my parents sponging me down in the kitchen sink when I was a baby. Dad's making us sponge down the car because we drove it through the mud. The nurse sat by and sponged down the child's forehead to help keep the fever at bay.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
sponge someone or something down
to remove the [excess] moisture from someone or something; to wipe someone or something with a sponge. The fight manager sponged his boxer down. I will sponge down the countertop.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
To moisten or wipe the surface of someone or something with or as if with a sponge: The artist sponged down the canvas with primer before starting the painting. I had a high fever, so the nurse sponged my forehead down.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.