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mummify

[muhm-uh-fahy]
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verb (used with object), mum·mi·fied, mum·mi·fy·ing.
  1. to make (a dead body) into a mummy, as by embalming and drying.
  2. to make (something) resemble a mummy; dry or shrivel up: The dead lizard was mummified by the hot desert air.
  3. to preserve (an idea, institution, custom, etc.) that may have outlived its usefulness or relevance: Those mummified customs have no place in society today.
verb (used without object), mum·mi·fied, mum·mi·fy·ing.
  1. to dry or shrivel up.

Origin of mummify

First recorded in 1620–30; mummy1 + -fy
Related formsmum·mi·fi·ca·tion, nounhalf-mum·mi·fied, adjectiveun·mum·mi·fied, adjectiveun·mum·mi·fy·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mummify

Historical Examples

  • They mummify the victim, as it were, and tuck him away for the morrow.

    Nothing But the Truth

    Frederic S. Isham

  • They mummify before decay sets in and turn into a leathery brown, similar to the mummies of Egypt.

    One Irish Summer

    William Eleroy Curtis


British Dictionary definitions for mummify

mummify

verb -fies, -fying or -fied
  1. (tr) to preserve the body of (a human or animal) as a mummy
  2. (intr) to dry up; shrivel
  3. (tr) to preserve (an outdated idea, institution, etc) while making lifeless
Derived Formsmummification, noun
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 mummify

v.

1620s, from French momifier, from momie "mummy," from Medieval Latin mumia (see mummy) + -fier "to make into" (see -fy). Related: Mummified; mummifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper