[ muhsh-room, -room ]
See synonyms for: mushroommushroomedmushroomingmushrooms on

  1. any of various fleshy fungi including the toadstools, puffballs, coral fungi, morels, etc.

  2. any of several edible species, especially of the family Agaricaceae, as Agaricus campestris(meadow mushroom, or field mushroom ), cultivated for food in the U.S.

  1. anything of similar shape or correspondingly rapid growth.

  2. a large, mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke or rubble, formed in the atmosphere as a result of an explosion, especially a nuclear explosion.

  1. of, consisting of, or containing mushrooms: a mushroom omelet.

  2. resembling a mushroom in shape or form.

  1. of rapid growth and often brief duration: mushroom towns of the gold-rush days.

verb (used without object)
  1. to spread, grow, or develop quickly.

  2. to gather mushrooms.

  1. to have or assume the shape of a mushroom.

Origin of mushroom

First recorded in 1350–1400; alteration (by folk etymology) of Middle English muscheron, musseroun, from Middle French mousseron, ultimately from Late Latin mussiriōn-, stem of mussiriō

Other words from mushroom

  • mush·room·like, adjective
  • mush·room·y, adjective

Words Nearby mushroom Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use mushroom in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mushroom


/ (ˈmʌʃruːm, -rʊm) /

    • the fleshy spore-producing body of any of various basidiomycetous fungi, typically consisting of a cap (pileus) at the end of a stem arising from an underground mycelium. Some species, such as the field mushroom, are edible: Compare pileus, toadstool

    • (as modifier): mushroom soup

  1. the fungus producing any of these structures

    • something resembling a mushroom in shape or rapid growth

    • (as modifier): mushroom expansion

  1. to grow rapidly: demand mushroomed overnight

  2. to assume a mushroom-like shape

  1. to gather mushrooms

Origin of mushroom

C15: from Old French mousseron, from Late Latin mussiriō, of obscure origin

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

Scientific definitions for mushroom


[ mŭshrōōm′ ]

  1. Any of various fungi that produce a fleshy fruiting body, which usually consists of a stalk topped by an umbrella-shaped cap. Many mushrooms are basidiomycetes. Some species of mushrooms are edible, though many are poisonous. The term mushroom is often applied to the stalk and cap alone. See more at basidiomycete.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.