[ mist ]
/ mɪst /


verb (used without object)

to become misty.
to rain in very fine drops; drizzle (usually used impersonally with it as subject): It was misting when they went out for lunch.

verb (used with object)

to make misty.
to spray (plants) with a finely diffused jet of water, as a means of replacing lost moisture.



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Origin of mist

before 900; (noun) Middle English, Old English; cognate with Dutch, Low German, Swedish mist; akin to Greek omíchlē fog, Russian mgla mist, Sanskrit megha cloud; (v.) Middle English misten, Old English mistian, derivative of the noun


mist·less, adjectivede·mist, verb (used with object)un·der·mist, noun


midst missed mist

Definition for mist (2 of 2)


(in prescriptions) a mixture.

Origin of mist.

From the Latin word mistūra
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020


What else does mist mean?

Content warning: this article references illicit drugs.

A mist is, literally speaking, a cloud of fine liquid droplets, but in slang it can variously refer to drugs and the experience of being on them. Mist can also be an alternative spelling or misspelling of missed.

Where does mist come from?

Recorded in Old English, a mist is a kind of vapor (i.e., small particles of liquid, typically water, suspended in the air or atmosphere). It also commonly refers to weather conditions, like a light fog, or to mist created by such things as spray bottles and haze machines.

Often, though, we talk and write about mist figuratively. Dating all the way back to Old English, mist could describe cloudy eyes … and cloudy minds. If you’re all misty, as another example, your eyes might have a far-away look or be wet with tears.

Mist is also found in alcohol slang, likely due to the misty (or hazy) feelings produced by those substances. In the 1970s, mist was a slang term for the drug phencyclidine, or PCP.

In the 1990s, the smoke from a crack-cocaine pipe was also referred to as mist. By 1995, a strain of marijuana was developed called Kali Mist, known for its uplifting, slightly hallucinogenic properties.

In the 1980s in the UK, the expression Scotch mist was used to refer to someone who was drunk: it rhymes with pissed, a British expression for drunk. It’s also possibly a reference to the real weather condition of Scotch mist, the fog that rolls out across the countryside there.

In the 1990s, Scotch mist was also used in UK slang to refer to someone vanishing. Speaking of Scottish English, mist was once used as a (rare) alternative spelling of the verb missed.

How is mist used in real life?

Mist has largely fallen away as a slang term for PCP or crack smoke. However, Kali Mist remains a strain of marijuana cultivated by growers.

These days, a Scotch mist most often refers to the literal weather phenomenon.

But occasionally, getting misted is used as an expression to refer to getting drunk, perhaps as from Canadian Mist whiskey. In UK slang, mist sometimes refers to someone who is really wound-up and energetic.

Some folks continue to use, deliberately or by mistake, the homophone mist for missed.

More examples of mist:

“Kali Mist, a mild, earthy strain famous for its glorious trichomes, is an everyday strain meant to inspire motivation and mental clarity.”
—The Witches of Weedswick, Leafly, August 2018


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

Example sentences from the Web for mist

British Dictionary definitions for mist

/ (mɪst) /



to cover or be covered with or as if with mist

Word Origin for mist

Old English; related to Middle Dutch, Swedish mist, Greek omikhlē fog
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

Scientific definitions for mist

[ mĭst ]

A mass of fine droplets of water in the atmosphere near or in contact with the Earth. Mist reduces visibility to not less than 1 km (0.62 mi). Compare fog.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.