- an egg-shaped character in a Mother Goose nursery rhyme that fell off a wall and could not be put together again.
- (sometimes lowercase) something that has been damaged severely and usually irreparably.
Origin of Humpty Dumpty
Examples from the Web for humpty-dumpty
The Obama team has been working closely with Riyadh to try to put the Yemeni Humpty-Dumpty back together.Ibrahim al Asiri: al Qaeda’s ‘Genius’ Bomb Maker
May 8, 2012
Humpty-dumpty, short and thick; all of a heap; all together, like an egg.The Slang Dictionary
John Camden Hotten
But Humpty-Dumpty only shut his eyes and said: ‘Wait till you’ve tried.
“Yes, all his horses and all his men,” Humpty-Dumpty went on.Lewis Carroll in Wonderland and at Home
"Humpty-Dumpty," cried others; and there was a famous uproar.
Humpty-Dumpty fell downstairs, and yet he married a princess.
- a short fat person
- a person or thing that once overthrown or broken cannot be restored or mended
Word Origin and History for humpty-dumpty
from French nursery rhyme hero (the rhyme first attested in English 1810), earlier "a short, clumsy person of either sex" (1785), probably a reduplication of Humpty, a pet form of Humphrey. Originally, humpty-dumpty was a drink (1690s), "ale boiled with brandy," probably from hump and dump, but the connection is obscure and there might not be one.
'It's very provoking,' Humpty Dumpty said, ... 'to be called an egg -- very!' ["Through the Looking-Glass," 1872]
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.