/ (ˈmɪmzɪ) /
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adjective -sier or -siest
prim, underwhelming, and ineffectual
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Word Origin for mimsy

C19: a blend of miserable and flimsy, coined by Lewis Carroll

Words nearby mimsy

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


What does mimsy mean?

Mimsy describes someone or something that is prim, underwhelming, or unimportant, as in Everyone expected the play would be unrestrained and exciting, but it was really just mimsy.

Mimsy was coined by author Lewis Carrol for his children’s novel Through the Looking-Glass. It appears in the poem “Jabberwocky,” which is part of the novel. In the poem, the borograves (also a made-up term) are described as being mimsy.

Mimsy is mostly used in the way Carrol intended, often in a playful rather than serious way.

Example: Mikahil was unhappy with their contribution to the event because it was ultimately mimsy and unhelpful.

Where does mimsy come from?

The first records of the term mimsy come from around 1855. Coined by English writer Lewis Carroll, it is said to blend miserable and flimsy.

“Jabberwocky” is also the source of the other made-up words, including chortle, galumph, and frumious. Carroll’s words are often used casually or playfully. The line from “Jabberwocky,” “mimsy were the borogoves” is often quoted as an allusion to Carroll’s work and is the title of a 1940s science fiction short story that was adapted into the 2007 science fiction movie The Last Mimzy.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to mimsy?

  • mimsier (adjective)
  • mimsiest (adjective)

What are some words that share a root or word element with mimsy

What are some words that often get used in discussing mimsy?

How is mimsy used in real life?

Mimsy is most often used in reference to Lewis Carroll, though it is sometimes used to describe something that is miserable and flimsy.


Try using mimsy!

Is mimsy used correctly in the following sentence?

After getting an A on the essay, I’m feeling mimsy.

How to use mimsy in a sentence