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Humpty Dumpty

[ huhmp-tee -duhmp-tee ]
/ ˈhʌmp ti ˈdʌmp ti /
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noun

an egg-shaped character in a Mother Goose nursery rhyme that fell off a wall and could not be put together again.
(sometimes lowercase) something that has been damaged severely and usually irreparably.

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of Humpty Dumpty

Rhyming compound based on humpty;see hump, -ed3, -y2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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British Dictionary definitions for Humpty Dumpty

humpty dumpty
/ (ˈhʌmptɪ ˈdʌmptɪ) /

noun mainly British

a short fat person
a person or thing that once overthrown or broken cannot be restored or mended

Word Origin for humpty dumpty

C18: after the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty
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

Cultural definitions for Humpty Dumpty

“Humpty Dumpty”

A nursery rhyme:

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall;
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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