• synonyms


[muhsh or especially for 2–5, moo sh]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
  1. meal, especially cornmeal, boiled in water or milk until it forms a thick, soft mass, or until it is stiff enough to mold into a loaf for slicing and frying.
  2. any thick, soft mass.
  3. mawkish sentimentality or amorousness.
  4. anything unpleasantly or contemptibly lacking in coherence, force, dignity, etc.: His entire argument was simply mush.
verb (used with object)
  1. to squeeze or crush; crunch: to mush all the candy together in a sticky ball.

Origin of mush1

1665–75, Americanism; obscurely akin to mash1


verb (used without object)
  1. to go or travel, especially over snow with a dog team and sled.
verb (used with object)
  1. to drive or spur on (sled dogs or a sled drawn by dogs).
  1. go! (used as an order to start or speed up a dog team)
  1. a trip or journey, especially across snow and ice with a dog team.

Origin of mush2

1895–1900; perhaps orig. as phrasal v. mush on! < Canadian French, French marchons! let's go!; see march1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mush

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Mush of acorn meal which I had left in my pot had been eaten.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • Furthermore, the mush of “vegetables” surrounding the house was more than fulfilled.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • And his head ain't all mush and seeds like a pumpkin, if I'm any judge.

    Thankful's Inheritance

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • It means just moonshine and mush and lookin' into each other's eyes, that's about all.

    The Portygee

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln

  • He is probably an edifying spectacle by this time, a mush of maudlin penitence.

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

British Dictionary definitions for mush


  1. a soft pulpy mass or consistency
  2. US a thick porridge made from corn meal
  3. informal cloying sentimentality
  4. radio interference in reception, esp a hissing noise
  1. (tr) to reduce (a substance) to a soft pulpy mass

Word Origin

C17: from obsolete moose porridge; probably related to mash; compare Old English mōs food


  1. an order to dogs in a sled team to start up or go faster
  1. to travel by or drive a dog sled
  2. (intr) to travel on foot, esp with snowshoes
  1. a journey with a dogsled
Derived Formsmusher, noun

Word Origin

C19: perhaps from French marchez or marchons, imperatives of marcher to advance


noun British
  1. a slang word for face (def. 1)

Word Origin

C19: from mush 1, alluding to the softness of the face


  1. British slang a familiar or contemptuous term of address

Word Origin

C19: probably from Gypsy moosh a man
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 mush


"kind of porridge," 1670s, in the American colonies, variant of mash (n.) "soft mixture." Meaning "anything soft and thick" is attested from 1824.


command to sled dogs, first recorded 1862, as mouche, perhaps altered from French marchons! "advance!" (imperative of marcher "to march;" see march (v.)).


"to pound to a pulp," 1781, from mush (n.). Related: Mushed; mushing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

  • About
  • Cookies, Terms, & Privacy
© 2018 Dictionary.com, LLC.