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  1. (of the gait, speech, behavior, etc.) affectedly dainty, nice, or elegant.

Origin of mincing

First recorded in 1520–30; mince + -ing2
Related formsminc·ing·ly, adverbun·minc·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mincingly

Historical Examples

  • Behold how mincingly it creeps over the sea, just ruffling and crisping it.

    Sea Stories


  • She smiled at me mincingly, for the vinegar stung her lips a little.

  • "Well, I'm sure she feels you've done too much for her as it is," Emeline said mincingly.

  • He had three daughters, mincingly beautiful, and of a pleasant countenance.

  • "Tell me when he has done his orisons, somebody," said she mincingly.

British Dictionary definitions for mincingly


  1. (of a person) affectedly elegant in gait, manner, or speech
Derived Formsmincingly, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for mincingly



"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.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper