[ muhm-uh-fahy ]
/ ˈmʌm əˌfaɪ /

verb (used with object), mum·mi·fied, mum·mi·fy·ing.

to make (a dead body) into a mummy, as by embalming and drying.
to make (something) resemble a mummy; dry or shrivel up: The dead lizard was mummified by the hot desert air.
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.

to dry or shrivel up.


Origin of mummify

First recorded in 1620–30; mummy1 + -fy

Related forms

mum·mi·fi·ca·tion, nounhalf-mum·mi·fied, adjectiveun·mum·mi·fied, adjectiveun·mum·mi·fy·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mummify

  • They mummify the victim, as it were, and tuck him away for the morrow.

    Nothing But the Truth|Frederic S. Isham
  • They mummify before decay sets in and turn into a leathery brown, similar to the mummies of Egypt.

    One Irish Summer|William Eleroy Curtis

British Dictionary definitions for mummify


/ (ˈmʌmɪˌfaɪ) /

verb -fies, -fying or -fied

(tr) to preserve the body of (a human or animal) as a mummy
(intr) to dry up; shrivel
(tr) to preserve (an outdated idea, institution, etc) while making lifeless

Derived Forms

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