[ muhm-uh-fahy ]
See synonyms for mummify on
verb (used with object),mum·mi·fied, mum·mi·fy·ing.
  1. to make (a dead body) into a mummy, as by embalming and drying.

  2. to make (something) resemble a mummy; dry or shrivel up: The dead lizard was mummified by the hot desert air.

  1. to preserve (an idea, institution, custom, etc.) that may have outlived its usefulness or relevance: Those mummified customs have no place in society today.

verb (used without object),mum·mi·fied, mum·mi·fy·ing.
  1. to dry or shrivel up.

Origin of mummify

First recorded in 1620–30; mummy1 + -fy

Other words from mummify

  • mum·mi·fi·ca·tion, noun
  • half-mum·mi·fied, adjective
  • un·mum·mi·fied, adjective
  • un·mum·mi·fy·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use mummify in a sentence

  • The question has been debated and variously answered, whether the art of mummification was known and practised in America.

    The Myths of the New World | Daniel G. Brinton
  • After the latter moved north, they found that the bodies of their dead decayed, and the practice of mummification was introduced.

  • This fact certainly agrees badly with the idea just expressed of the absence of mummification.

    El Kab | J.E. Quibell
  • The most remarkable fact was the entire absence of mummification, at least, of any effective kind.

    El Kab | J.E. Quibell
  • We do not find the process of mummification reaching any degree of elaboration until the period of the New Kingdom.

British Dictionary definitions for mummify


/ (ˈmʌmɪˌfaɪ) /

verb-fies, -fying or -fied
  1. (tr) to preserve the body of (a human or animal) as a mummy

  2. (intr) to dry up; shrivel

  1. (tr) to preserve (an outdated idea, institution, etc) while making lifeless

Derived forms of mummify

  • mummification, noun

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