oil expressed from the seed of mustard, used chiefly in making soap.
Where does the phrase cut the mustard come from?
As with many slang and idiomatic phrases, the origin can be a bit unclear. The first recorded use of the phrase cut the mustard was by O. Henry in 1907, in a story called The Heart of the West: “I looked around and found a proposition that exactly cut the mustard”. The modern sense of the idiom is ‘to succeed; to have the ability to do something; to come …
Quacks and Other People Not To Be Trusted
Read more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
Origin of mustard oil
First recorded in 1840–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
an oil that is obtained from mustard seeds and used in making soap
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