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mum

1
[ muhm ]
/ mʌm /
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See synonyms for: mum / mums on Thesaurus.com

adjective
silent; not saying a word: to keep mum.
interjection
(used to demand immediate silence.)
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Idioms about mum

    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
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English momme; imitative

Other definitions for mum (2 of 6)

mum2

or mumm

[ muhm ]
/ mʌm /

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

Origin of mum

2
First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English mommen, verb use of mum1; compare Middle Dutch mommen ”to act the mummer's part”

Other definitions for mum (3 of 6)

mum3
[ muhm ]
/ mʌm /

noun

Origin of mum

3
First recorded in 1890–95; shortened form

Other definitions for mum (4 of 6)

mum4
[ muhm ]
/ mʌm /

noun Chiefly British.

Origin of mum

4
First recorded in 1815–25; nursery word; see mom

Other definitions for mum (5 of 6)

mum5
[ muhm ]
/ mʌm /

noun
a strong beer or ale, first made in Brunswick, Germany.

Origin of mum

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

Other definitions for mum (6 of 6)

mum6
[ muhm ]
/ mʌm /

noun Chiefly British.

Origin of mum

6
Variant of ma'am
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mum in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mum (1 of 4)

mum1
/ (mʌm) /

noun
mainly British an informal word for mother 1

Word Origin for mum

C19: a child's word

British Dictionary definitions for mum (2 of 4)

mum2
/ (mʌm) /

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

Word Origin for mum

C14: suggestive of closed lips

British Dictionary definitions for mum (3 of 4)

mum3

mumm

/ (mʌm) /

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

Word Origin for mum

C16: verbal use of mum ²

British Dictionary definitions for mum (4 of 4)

mum4
/ (mʌm) /

noun
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
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