mickey mouse


adjective (often initial capital letters) Informal.

trite and commercially slick in character; corny: mickey mouse music.
useless, insignificant, or worthless: mickey mouse activities just to fill up one's time.
trivial or petty: mickey mouse regulations.

Nearby words

  1. micht,
  2. michurinsk,
  3. mick,
  4. mickey,
  5. mickey finn,
  6. mickiewicz,
  7. mickiewicz, adam,
  8. mickle,
  9. micky,
  10. micmac

Origin of mickey mouse

First recorded in 1930–35; after the animated cartoon character created by Walt Disney, orig. with reference to the banal dance-band music played as background to the cartoons

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for mickey mouse

Mickey Mouse

adjective (sometimes not capitals) slang

ineffective; trivial; insignificanthe settled for a Mickey Mouse job instead of something challenging
mainly US and Canadian (of music, esp that of dance bands) mechanical or spiritless

Word Origin for Mickey Mouse

C20: from the name of a cartoon character created by Walt Disney, known for his simple-minded attitudes

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 mickey mouse

Mickey Mouse

cartoon mouse character created 1928 by U.S. animator Walt Disney (1901-1966). As an adjective meaning "small and worthless" it dates from 1936, originally used especially of mediocre dance-band music, a put-down based on the type of tunes played as background in cartoon films.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for mickey mouse

Mickey Mouse

A cartoon character created by Walt Disney. Mickey's image is so widespread that he has achieved the status of myth.

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.