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mummy1

[muhm-ee]
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noun, plural mum·mies.
  1. the dead body of a human being or animal preserved by the ancient Egyptian process or some similar method of embalming.
  2. a dead body dried and preserved by nature.
  3. a withered or shrunken living being.
  4. a dry, shriveled fruit, tuber, or other plant organ, resulting from any of several fungous diseases.
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verb (used with object), mum·mied, mum·my·ing.
  1. to make into or cause to resemble a mummy; mummify.
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Origin of mummy1

1350–1400; Middle English mummie < Medieval Latin mummia < Arabic mūmiyah mummy, literally, bitumen < Persian mūm wax
Related formsun·mum·mied, adjective

mummy2

[muhm-ee]
noun, plural mum·mies. Chiefly British.
  1. mother1.
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Origin of mummy2

First recorded in 1815–25; mum4 + -y2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mummy

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Then the body had become a "mummy" because it was filled with "Mumiai" or pitch.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • This was like his phantom, or, if one may say so, without disrespect--his mummy.

  • Little high voices called for "Mummy," and the children came in.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • I beat the boy—not Peter's boy, our boy—he was rude to Mummy.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker

  • Mummy was afraid when people were cross; she liked me to be with her.

    Jan and Her Job

    L. Allen Harker


British Dictionary definitions for mummy

mummy1

noun plural -mies
  1. an embalmed or preserved body, esp as prepared for burial in ancient Egypt
  2. obsolete the substance of such a body used medicinally
  3. a mass of pulp
  4. a dark brown pigment
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Word Origin

C14: from Old French momie, from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic mūmiyah asphalt, from Persian mūm wax

mummy2

noun plural -mies
  1. mainly British a child's word for mother 1
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Word Origin

C19: variant of mum 1
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 mummy

n.1

c.1400, "medicine prepared from mummy tissue," from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic mumiyah "embalmed body," from Persian mumiya "asphalt," from mum "wax." Sense of "embalmed body" first recorded in English 1610s. Mummy wheat (1842) was said to be cultivated from grains found in mummy-cases.

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n.2

1784, childish alteration of mammy. Alternative form mumsy attested by 1876.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper