a small mound or ridge of earth raised up by a mole or moles burrowing under the ground.


    make a mountain out of a molehill, to exaggerate a minor difficulty.

Origin of molehill

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at mole1, hill Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for molehill

Contemporary Examples of molehill

Historical Examples of molehill

  • That is often a mountain to one which is only a molehill to another.

    Out in the Forty-Five

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • I was a little nettled at having been scared for a molehill.

    The Celebrity, Complete

    Winston Churchill

  • The newspapers got hold of it and are making a mountain out of a molehill.

  • He saw now, or thought he saw, that he had been making a mountain out of a molehill.


    H. Rider Haggard

  • I soon found my pride was a molehill and my love a mountain.

    Hard Cash

    Charles Reade

British Dictionary definitions for molehill



the small mound of earth thrown up by a burrowing mole
make a mountain out of a molehill to exaggerate an unimportant matter out of all proportion
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 molehill

also mole-hill, mid-15c., from mole (2) + hill (n.).

To much amplifying thinges yt. be but small, makyng mountaines of Molehils. [John Foxe, "Acts and Monuments," 1570]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with molehill


see make a mountain out of a molehill.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.