mum

1
[muhm]
See more synonyms for mum on Thesaurus.com
interjection
  1. say nothing! be silent!
Idioms
  1. 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 mum

1
1350–1400; Middle English momme; imitative

mum

2

or mumm

[muhm]
verb (used without object), mummed, mum·ming.
  1. to say “mum”; call for silence.
  2. to act as a mummer.

Origin of mum

2
1350–1400; Middle English mommen, v. use of mum1; compare Middle Dutch mommen to act the mummer's part

mum

3
[muhm]

Origin of mum

3
shortened form

mum

4
[muhm]
noun Chiefly British.
  1. mother1.

Origin of mum

4
1815–25; nursery word; see mom

mum

5
[muhm]
noun
  1. a strong beer or ale, first made in Brunswick, Germany.

Origin of mum

5
First recorded in 1630–40, mum is from the German word Mumme, said to have been named after the brewer who made it

mum

6
[muhm]
noun Chiefly British.
  1. madam.

Origin of mum

6
variant of ma'am
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for mum

Contemporary Examples of mum

Historical Examples of mum

  • 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.

  • "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.

  • And if you should chance to meet this party again, remember, mum's the word.'

    Against Odds

    Lawrence L. Lynch


British Dictionary definitions for mum

mum

1
noun
  1. mainly British an informal word for mother 1

Word Origin for mum

C19: a child's word

mum

2
adjective
  1. keeping information to oneself; silent
noun
  1. mum's the word silence or secrecy is to be observed

Word Origin for mum

C14: suggestive of closed lips

mum

3

mumm

verb mums, mumming or mummed
  1. (intr) to act in a mummer's play

Word Origin for mum

C16: verbal use of mum ²

mum

4
noun
  1. British obsolete a type of beer made from cereals, beans, etc

Word Origin for mum

C17: from German Mumme, perhaps from the name of its original brewer
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 mum
interj.

"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.

n.1

abbreviation of chrysanthemum, first attested 1915 in the jargon of gardeners.

n.2

pet word for "mother," 1823, short for mummy (see mamma). In British sociology, used from 1957 in reference to "the working class mother as an influence in the lives of her children." Also sometimes a vulgar corruption of madam.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper