[ mich-uhl ]

  1. Arthur, 1934–2018, U.S. ballet dancer, choreographer, and ballet company director.

  2. John, 1870–1919, U.S. labor leader.

  1. Margaret, 1900–49, U.S. novelist.

  2. Maria, 1818–89, U.S. astronomer.

  3. Peter, 1920–92, British biochemist: Nobel Prize 1978.

  4. Silas Weir [weer], /wɪər/, 1829–1914, U.S. physician and novelist.

  5. William, 1879–1936, U.S. general: pioneer in the field of aviation.

  6. Mount, a mountain in western North Carolina: highest peak in the eastern United States, 6,684 feet (2,037 meters).

  7. a city in southeastern South Dakota.

  8. a male given name, form of Michael.

Words Nearby Mitchell Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use Mitchell in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Mitchell


/ (ˈmɪtʃəl) /

  1. Joni, original name Roberta Joan Anderson. born 1943, Canadian folk-rock singer and songwriter. Her albums include Blue (1971), Court and Spark (1974), Mingus (1979), Turbulent Indigo (1994), and Shine (2007)

  2. Margaret. 1900–49, US novelist; author of Gone with the Wind (1936)

  1. Reginald Joseph. 1895–1937, British aeronautical engineer; designer of the Spitfire fighter

  2. Sir Thomas Livingstone, known as Major Mitchell. 1792–1855, Australian explorer born in Scotland

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 Mitchell


[ mĭchəl ]

  1. American astronomer and educator noted for her study of sunspots and nebulae and for her 1847 discovery of a comet.

biography For Mitchell

Maria Mitchell, the first acknowledged woman astronomer in the United States, was born in 1818, in an era when women were discouraged from pursuing scientific careers. It was her good fortune to have a father who himself was an astronomer and who delighted in fostering his daughter's abilities in mathematics and astronomy. Already assisting her father's research by age twelve and becoming an apprentice schoolteacher at sixteen, Mitchell went on to gain immediate worldwide fame in 1847 when she became the first person to discover a comet using a telescope and established its orbit. For this she was awarded a medal by the King of Denmark, and in 1848 she became the first woman admitted to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In the ensuing decades, she made many discoveries about nebulae, double stars, the paths taken by meteors, the surface features of the bodies of the solar system, and many other celestial phenomena. She was a pathbreaker in telescope photography, and made pioneering daily photographs of sunspots, which she demonstrated were cavities in the sun's surface rather than clouds as had previously been thought. In 1865 she became a professor of astronomy at Vassar College, director of its observatory, and its most distinguished faculty member. Her accomplishments and brilliance as a teacher were inspirational to many other women. An outspoken supporter of women's education, Mitchell was able to break numerous barriers to women in the sciences, cofounding the Association for the Advancement of Women in 1873.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.