late 14c., "a feather" (especially a large and conspicuous one), from Old French plume "soft feather, down; feather bed," and directly from Latin pluma "a small soft feather, down; the first beard," from PIE root *pleus- "to pluck; a feather, fleece" (source of Old English fleos "fleece"). Meaning "a long streamer of smoke, etc." is attested from 1878.
in Greek mythology, the name of a region in the far southeast corner of the Black Sea (in what is now Georgia), the homeland of Medea and associated with Jason and the quest for the Golden Fleece. Related: Colchian.
early 14c., probably from Old Provençal veluet, from Vulgar Latin *villutittus, diminutive of Vulgar Latin *villutus "velvet," literally "shaggy cloth," from Latin villus "shaggy hair, nap of cloth, tuft of hair," probably a dialectal variant of vellus "fleece," from PIE *wel-no-, suffixed form of *uelh- "to strike" (see svelte).