mince

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English mincen, minsen; partly from Old English minsian (to make less, make smaller, diminish), from Proto-Germanic *minnisōną (to make less); partly from Old French mincer, mincier (to cut into small pieces), from mince (slender, slight, puny), from Frankish *minsto, *minnisto, superlative of *min, *minn (small, less), from Proto-Germanic *minniz (less); both from Proto-Indo-European *(e)mey- (small, little). Cognate with Old Saxon minsōn (to make less, make smaller), Gothic 𐌼𐌹𐌽𐌶𐌽𐌰𐌽 (minznan, to become less, diminish), Swedish minska (to reduce, lessen), Gothic 𐌼𐌹𐌽𐍃 (mins, slender, slight). More at min.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

mince (countable and uncountable, plural minces)

  1. (uncountable) Finely chopped meat.
    Mince tastes really good fried in a pan with some chopped onion and tomato.
  2. (uncountable) Finely chopped mixed fruit used in Christmas pies; mincemeat.
    During Christmas time my dad loves to eat mince pies.
  3. (countable) An affected (often dainty or short and precise) gait.
    • Truman Capote, Children on their Birthdays: (Can we date this quote?)
      A wiry little girl in a starched, lemon-colored party dress, she sassed along with a grownup mince, one hand on her hip, the other supporting a spinsterish umbrella.
    • John Fowles: (Can we date this quote?):
      She was just the same; she had a light way of walking and she always wore flat heels so she didn't have that mince like most girls. She didn't think at all about the men when she moved. Like a bird.
    • 2010, Tom Zoellner, Uranium: War, Energy, and the Rock That Shaped the World:
      His skin was china pale, he walked with a slight mince, and his silver mustache was always trimmed sharp; it was his custom to send a bouquet of pink carnations to the wives of men with whom he dined.
  4. (countable) An affected manner, especially of speaking; an affectation.
    • George Bernard Shaw: (Can we date this quote?)
      A very moderate degree of accomplishment in this direction would make an end of stage smart speech, which, like the got-up Oxford mince and drawl of a foolish curate, is the mark of a snob.
    • 1928, R. M. Pope, in The Education Outlook, volume 80, page 285:
      And, further, who has not heard what someone has christened the "Oxford" mince, where every consonant is mispronounced and every vowel gets a wrong value?
    • 2008, Opie Read, The Colossus, page 95:
      [...] a smiling man, portly and impressive, coming toward them with a dignified mince in his walk.

Quotations[edit]

  • 1849, Herman Melville, Mardi, and a Voyage Thither:
    Not, — let me hurry to say, — that I put hand in tar bucket with a squeamish air, or ascended the rigging with a Chesterfieldian mince.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

mince (third-person singular simple present minces, present participle mincing, simple past and past participle minced)

  1. (transitive) To make less; make small.
  2. (transitive) To lessen; diminish; to diminish in speaking; speak of lightly or slightingly; minimise.
  3. (transitive, rare) To effect mincingly.
  4. (transitive, cooking) To cut into very small pieces; to chop fine.
    Butchers often use machines to mince meat.
  5. (transitive) To suppress or weaken the force of; to extenuate; to palliate; to tell by degrees, instead of directly and frankly; to clip, as words or expressions; to utter half and keep back half of.
    I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say — "I love you."Shakespeare
    To mince one's words
    a minced oath
    • Dryden
      Siren, now mince the sin, / And mollify damnation with a phrase.
  6. (transitive) To affect; to pronounce affectedly or with an accent.
    • 1869, Alexander J. Ellis, On Early English Pronunciation, with special reference to Shakespeare and Chaucer, part 1, page 194:
      In some districts of England ll is sounded like w, thus bowd (booud) for BOLD, bw (buu) for BULL, caw (kau) for CALL. But this pronunciation is merely a provincialism, and not to be imitated unless you wish to mince like these blunderers.
    • 1905, George Henderson, The Gaelic Dialects, IV, in the Zeitschrift für celtische Philologie, published by Kuno Meyer and L. Chr. Stern, volume 5, page 98:
      One may hear some speakers in Oxford mince brother into brover (brëvë); Bath into Baf; both into bof.
    • 1915, Willa Cather, The Song of the Lark:
      "The preacher said it was sympathetic," she minced the word, remembering Mr. Larsen's manner.
  7. (intransitive) To walk with short steps; to walk in a prim, affected manner.
    • The daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, mincing as they go. --Is. III. 16.
    • I'll turn two mincing steps into a manly stride.Shakespeare
    • 1945, George Orwell, Animal Farm, chapter 1
      At the last moment Mollie, the foolish, pretty white mare who drew Mr. Jones's trap, came mincing daintily in, chewing at a lump of sugar.
  8. (intransitive) To act or talk with affected nicety; to affect delicacy in manner.
    I love going to gay bars and seeing drag queens mince around on stage.
  9. (archaic) To diminish the force of.

Usage notes[edit]

Current usage in the sense of "weaken the force of" is limited to the phrase "mince words"; e.g., "I won't mince words with you".

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]


Czech[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From German Münze.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

mince f

  1. coin
    hodit si mincí — flip a coin

Declension[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

External links[edit]

  • mince in Příruční slovník jazyka českého, 1935–1957
  • mince in Slovník spisovného jazyka českého, 1960–1971, 1989

French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

mince (masculine and feminine, plural minces)

  1. thin, slim, slender

Derived terms[edit]

Interjection[edit]

mince

  1. drat!, darn!
  2. wow!, blimey!

Irish[edit]

Noun[edit]

mince f

  1. genitive singular of minc

Mutation[edit]

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
mince mhince unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.