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Origin of mitten

1350–1400; Middle English miteyn < Middle French, Old French mitaine, equivalent to mite mitten (< ?) + -aine -an
Related formsmit·ten·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for mitten

mitt, muff, gauntlet, gage, mitten

Examples from the Web for mitten

Historical Examples of mitten

  • Antoine drew off his mitten, and held out to him his bare right hand.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson

  • Besides which, my dear friend, they will give you a mitten apiece.

  • He—Then I am to understand that you have given me the mitten, as it were?

    The New Pun Book

    Thomas A. Brown and Thomas Joseph Carey

  • I worked this afternoon on a mitten pattern for myself, assisted by Alma.

    A Woman who went to Alaska

    May Kellogg Sullivan

  • He pulled off his mitten and put his icy hand under her chin.

    Prairie Folks

    Hamlin Garland

British Dictionary definitions for mitten


  1. a glove having one section for the thumb and a single section for the other fingersSometimes shortened to: mitt
  2. slang a boxing glove

Word Origin for mitten

C14: from Old French mitaine, of uncertain origin
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 mitten

late 14c., from Old French mitaine "mitten, half-glove" (12c.), from Old French mite "mitten," and from Medieval Latin mitta, which are perhaps from Middle High German mittemo, Old High German mittamo "middle, midmost" (reflecting notion of "half-glove"), or from Vulgar Latin *medietana "divided in the middle," from Latin medius (see medial (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper