- (of the gait, speech, behavior, etc.) affectedly dainty, nice, or elegant.
Origin of mincing
- to cut or chop into very small pieces.
- to soften, moderate, or weaken (one's words), especially for the sake of decorum or courtesy.
- to perform or utter with affected elegance.
- to subdivide minutely, as land or a topic for study.
- to walk or move with short, affectedly dainty steps.
- Archaic. to act or speak with affected elegance.
- something cut up very small; mincemeat.
- not mince words/matters, to speak directly and frankly; be blunt or outspoken: He was angry and didn't mince words.
Origin of mince
Examples from the Web for mincing
“James Woods has a reputation in the business of not mincing words,” Breitbart posted in September 2013.How James Woods Became Obama’s Biggest Twitter Troll
December 31, 2014
He also has a best supporting actor nomination for his mincing, lovestruck Olivia in Twelfth Night.Who Will Win the Tony Awards?
June 7, 2014
Beside the Bishop rode the Prior of Emmet upon a mincing palfrey.The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
He slowed down to an alert and mincing walk and then stopped.White Fang
"A thousand thanks, Monsieur—no," he answered coldly in his mincing tones.The Suitors of Yvonne
There's no need of mincing the matter; we need fear no eavesdropper here.The Knight Of Gwynne, Vol. II (of II)
Charles James Lever
"I know of no joke, Niece Ruth," said the old lady, with mincing iciness.Aunt Rachel
David Christie Murray
- (of a person) affectedly elegant in gait, manner, or speech
- (tr) to chop, grind, or cut into very small pieces
- (tr) to soften or moderate, esp for the sake of convention or politenessI didn't mince my words
- (intr) to walk or speak in an affected dainty manner
- mainly British minced meat
- informal nonsensical rubbish
Word Origin and History for mincing
"affectedly dainty," 1520s, probably originally in reference to speech, when words were "clipped" to affect elegance; or in reference to walking with short steps; present participle adjective from mince (v.).
late 14c., "to chop in little pieces," from Old French mincier "make into small pieces," from Vulgar Latin *minutiare "make small," from Late Latin minutiæ "small bits," from Latin minutus "small" (see minute (adj.)). Of speech, "to clip affectedly in imitation of elegance," 1540s; of words or language, "to restrain in the interest of decorum," 1590s. Meaning "to walk with short or precise steps" is from 1560s. Related: Minced; mincing.
"minced meat," 1850; see mincemeat.