[mahym, meem]


verb (used with object), mimed, mim·ing.

to mimic.
to act in mime.

verb (used without object), mimed, mim·ing.

to play a part by mime or mimicry.

Origin of mime

1610–20; < Latin mīmus < Greek mîmos imitator, mime, akin to mīmeîsthai to copy, imitate
Related formsmim·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mime

Contemporary Examples of mime

  • Four years from now, I expect to see the presidential debates conducted entirely in mime.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Flapdoodle Campaign

    Megan McArdle

    October 23, 2012

  • I do this thing where I hold my breath and turn my face red right before I run across stage to mime throwing up in the trash can.

Historical Examples of mime

British Dictionary definitions for mime



the theatrical technique of expressing an idea or mood or portraying a character entirely by gesture and bodily movement without the use of words
Also called: mime artist a performer specializing in such a technique, esp a comic actor
a dramatic presentation using such a technique
(in the classical theatre)
  1. a comic performance depending for effect largely on exaggerated gesture and physical action
  2. an actor in such a performance


to express (an idea) in actions or gestures without speech
(of singers or musicians) to perform as if singing (a song) or playing (a piece of music) that is actually prerecorded
Derived Formsmimer, noun

Word Origin for mime

Old English mīma, from Latin mīmus mimic actor, from Greek mimos imitator


abbreviation for

multipurpose internet mail extensions
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 mime

c.1600, "a buffoon who practices gesticulations" [Johnson], from French mime (16c.) and directly from Latin mimus, from Greek mimos "imitator, mimic, actor, mime, buffoon," of unknown origin. In reference to a performance, 1640s in a classical context; 1932 as "a pantomime."


1610s, "to act without words," from mime (n.). The transferred sense of "to imitate" is from 1733 (Greek mimeisthai meant "to imitate"). Meaning "to pretend to be singing a pre-recorded song" is from 1965. Related: mimed; miming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper