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2017 Word of the Year

Humpty Dumpty

[huhmp-tee duhmp-tee] /ˈhʌmp ti ˈdʌmp ti/
noun
1.
an egg-shaped character in a Mother Goose nursery rhyme that fell off a wall and could not be put together again.
2.
(sometimes lowercase) something that has been damaged severely and usually irreparably.
Origin of Humpty Dumpty
rhyming compound based on humpty; see hump, -ed3, -y2
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Humpty Dumpty
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Then wish for them, and fire off this," said Humpty Dumpty, handing her a cracker.

  • But I never heard that Humpty Dumpty did a lot o' squealin' when he bust.

    Wappin' Wharf Charles S. Brooks
  • Then, as gruffly as I, he said, "Humpty Dumpty--after the fall!"

    Bunch Grass Horace Annesley Vachell
  • But Humpty Dumpty only shut his eyes and said 'Wait till you've tried.'

    Through the Looking-Glass Charles Dodgson, AKA Lewis Carroll
  • "Ivede-Avede," cried some; "Humpty Dumpty," cried others; and there was a famous uproar.

    Hans Andersen's Fairy Tales Hans Christian Andersen
British Dictionary definitions for Humpty Dumpty

humpty dumpty

/ˈhʌmptɪ ˈdʌmptɪ/
noun (mainly Brit)
1.
a short fat person
2.
a person or thing that once overthrown or broken cannot be restored or mended
Word Origin
C18: after the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Contemporary definitions for Humpty Dumpty
noun

something or someone that cannot be restored once damaged; also written humpty dumpty

Word Origin

from nursery rhyme character

Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014 Dictionary.com, LLC
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Humpty Dumpty in Culture

“Humpty Dumpty” definition


A nursery rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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