- silent; not saying a word: to keep mum.
- say nothing! be silent!
- mum's the word, do not reveal what you know (about something); keep silent: Mum's the word, or the surprise party won't be a surprise.
Origin of mum1
- to say “mum”; call for silence.
- to act as a mummer.
Origin of mum2
Origin of mum3
Origin of mum4
- a strong beer or ale, first made in Brunswick, Germany.
Origin of mum5
Origin of mum6
Examples from the Web for mum
I think maybe it was the justification he used for that and how he treated my mum for having what he thought was an affair.
“Mum was living in fear as well we were trapped,” Cumming tells me.
The family was "happy, but my parents were broke, my mum made my clothes, my dad said we moved when the rent was due," he told me.Clooney: A Constant Charmer at the Altar
September 28, 2014
He even took a few wobbly first steps (with a little assistance from his mum, of course).Prince George Gurgles His Way Through First Public Engagement
April 9, 2014
Suddenly she is cast adrift without the bank of mum and dad.Why ‘Girls’ Is Bad for Women
March 31, 2014
You were the little clerk who sat so mum in the corner, and then cried fy on the gleeman.The White Company
Arthur Conan Doyle
Ye haven't; then I very much doubt if ye'll see him this day, mum.Jennie Baxter, Journalist
"I'm afraid as how the house was too quiet for Mr. Grierson, mum," she wound up.People of Position
Stanley Portal Hyatt
If you please, Mum, it's below the waist; I think I can manage with the dummy.Joy (First Series Plays)
And if you should chance to meet this party again, remember, mum's the word.'Against Odds
Lawrence L. Lynch
- mainly British an informal word for mother 1
- keeping information to oneself; silent
- mum's the word silence or secrecy is to be observed
- (intr) to act in a mummer's play
- British obsolete a type of beer made from cereals, beans, etc
Word Origin and History for mum
"be silent," 1560s, from Middle English mum, mom (late 14c.), inarticulate closed-mouth sound, indicative of unwillingness or inability to speak. As an adjective meaning "secret" from 1520s. Phrase mum's the word is first recorded 1704.
abbreviation of chrysanthemum, first attested 1915 in the jargon of gardeners.