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mondo1

[mon-doh]
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noun, plural mon·dos. Zen.
  1. a question to a student for which an immediate answer is demanded, the spontaneity of which is often illuminating.
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Compare koan.

Origin of mondo1

1925–30; < Japanese mondō, earlier mondau < Middle Chinese, equivalent to Chinese wèn inquire + reply

mondo2

Slang.
adverb
  1. very; extremely: mondo cool.
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adjective
  1. large; big: a mondo history paper.
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Origin of mondo2

< Italian mondo world, extracted from the film Mondo Cane (1961) and reinterpreted as an adv. in Italian or pseudo-Italian phrases such as mondo bizarro very bizarre, literally, bizarre world
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mondo

Historical Examples

  • Parenzos first name was Sigismondo, of which Mondo is the diminutive.

    A Lady of Rome

    F. Marion Crawford

  • La gola, il dado e l'otiose piumeHanno dal' mondo ogni virt sbandita.

    A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 10 (of 10)

    Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)


Word Origin and History for mondo

adj.

"very much, extreme," 1979, from Italian mondo "world," from "Mondo cane," 1961 film, literally "world for a dog" (English title "A Dog's Life"), depicting eccentric human behavior; the word was abstracted from the original title and taken as an intensifier.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper