Try Our Apps


The saddest words


[muhl] /mʌl/
verb (used without object)
to study or ruminate; ponder.
verb (used with object)
to think about carefully; consider (often followed by over):
to mull over an idea.
to make a mess or failure of.
Origin of mull1
1815-25; perhaps identical with dial. mull to crumble, pulverize; see mull4
1. consider, weigh. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for mull over
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But I've got to mull over it a little before it would make sense.

  • The third day my feet are not so weary, and while I iron I mull over ideas on women in industry.

    Working With the Working Woman Cornelia Stratton Parker
  • Bab, however, had little time, little opportunity to mull over thoughts like these.

    Rich Man, Poor Man Maximilian Foster
  • Couldn't you come now and mull over the alterations which you are going to make in your MS, and make them after you go back?

  • Never mind all that, Zizi said, impatiently, it wont get us anywhere to mull over that.

    The Luminous Face Carolyn Wells
British Dictionary definitions for mull over


(transitive) often foll by over. to study or ponder
Word Origin
C19: probably from muddle


(transitive) to heat (wine, ale, etc) with sugar and spices to make a hot drink
Derived Forms
mulled, adjective
Word Origin
C17: of unknown origin


a light muslin fabric of soft texture
Word Origin
C18: earlier mulmull, from Hindi malmal


a layer of nonacidic humus formed in well drained and aerated soils Compare mor
Word Origin
C20: from Danish muld; see mould³


(Scot) a promontory
Word Origin
C14: related to Gaelic maol, Icelandic múli


a mountainous island off the west coast of Scotland, in the Inner Hebrides, separated from the mainland by the Sound of Mull. Chief town: Tobermory. Pop: 2667 (2001). Area: 909 sq km (351 sq miles)
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for mull over



"ponder," 1873, perhaps from a figurative use of Middle English mullyn "grind to powder, pulverize," from molle "dust, ashes, rubbish" (c.1300), probably from Middle Dutch mul "grit, loose earth," related to mill (n.1). But Webster's (1879) defined it as "to work steadily without accomplishing much," which may connect it to earlier identical word in athletics sense of "to botch, muff" (1862). Related: Mulled; mulling.

"sweeten, spice and heat a drink," c.1600, of unknown origin, perhaps from Dutch mol, a kind of white, sweet beer, or from Flemish molle a kind of beer, and related to words for "to soften." Related: Mulled; mulling.


"promontory" (in Scottish place names), late 14c., perhaps from Old Norse muli "a jutting crag, projecting ridge (between two valleys)," which probably is identical with muli "snout, muzzle." The Norse word is related to Old Frisian mula, Middle Dutch mule, muul, Old High German mula, German Maul "muzzle, mouth." Alternative etymology traces it to Gaelic maol "brow of a hill or rock," also "bald," from Old Celtic *mailo-s (cf. Irish maol, Old Irish máel, máil, Welsh moel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with mull over

mull over

Ponder, think about, as in She mulled over the offer for some time and then turned it down. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for mull

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mull

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for mull over