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  1. any of various card games for two, three, or four players, each usually being dealt seven, nine, or ten cards, in which the object is to match cards into sets and sequences.

Origin of rummy1

1905–10, Americanism; perhaps special use of rummy3
Also called rum.


noun, plural rum·mies.
  1. Slang. a drunkard.
  1. of or like rum.

Origin of rummy2

First recorded in 1850–55; rum1 + -y1


adjective, rum·mi·er, rum·mi·est. Chiefly British Slang.
  1. odd; peculiar.

Origin of rummy3

First recorded in 1820–30; rum2 + -y1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for rummy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Rummy accent and all that, but nevertheless a soft and pleasing voice.

    Jill the Reckless

    P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse

  • Rummy as the gadget might appear, it had been the right thing to do.

    Jill the Reckless

    P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse

  • People talk about that rummy motor at Bonnington and Aldington to this day.

    The Magic World

    Edith Nesbit

  • And, most important of all to a rummy, you drink the best booze and as much of it as you want.

    Medal of Honor

    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • Most likely I'll do my best to stop whatever it is you've got in that rummy head of yours.'


    Mary Louisa Molesworth

British Dictionary definitions for rummy



  1. a card game based on collecting sets and sequences

Word Origin

C20: perhaps from rum ²


  1. another word for rum 2


noun plural -mies
  1. US and Canadian a slang word for drunkard
  1. of or like rum in taste or smell
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 rummy


card game, 1910, rhummy, of unknown origin. Gin rummy is first attested 1941. Meaning "drunkard" is 1851, from rum (n.). Meaning "opponent of temperance" in U.S. politics is from 1860.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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