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See also: Mike and mic



  • IPA(key): /ˈmaɪk/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪk

Etymology 1[edit]

Alteration of mic, clipping of microphone. Attested since 1927.


mike (plural mikes)

  1. (informal) A microphone.
    • 1970, Theodore Sturgeon and Edward H. Waldo, "The Pod in the Barrier", in A Touch of Strange, Ayer Publishing, →ISBN, page 28,
      "Then I say to the recording, for the record," I barked, right into the mike, []
    • 1981, John Swaigen, How to Fight for What’s Right: The Guide to Public Interest Law, James Lorimer & Company, →ISBN, pages 118–119,
      Obviously, one must watch what one says in the vicinity of a microphone. More than one person has made a “private” statement in the presence of an open mike.
    • 2007, John Sellers, Perfect from Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life, Simon and Schuster, →ISBN, page 85,
      When the haggard bartender informed us that there would be an open-mike event later in the evening, I got my first sense that not everyone in Manchester cared about the music the city has produced.


mike (third-person singular simple present mikes, present participle miking, simple past and past participle miked)

  1. To microphone; to place one or more microphones (mikes) on.
    • 1994 September, Jim Gaines, transcribed in Alan di Perna, "Step Lively: Recalling the recording process of SRV’s IN STEP with album producer Jim Gaines", in Guitar World Magazine, reprinted in Guitar World Presents Stevie Ray Vaughan: Stevie Ray In His Own Words, Hal Leonard (1997), →ISBN, page 81,
      “And sometimes I’d just have to mike the room. You could run into some weird phasing problems with the individual mics because the speakers were all reacting differently.”
    • 1996, J.R. Robinson, quoted in Mark Huntly Parsons, The Drummer’s Studio Survival Guide: How to get the best possible drum tracks on any recording project, Hal Leonard, →ISBN, page 72,
      He knows me, I know him, and I know how he’s going to mike the drums and what selection of mic’s he's going to use.
    • 2006, Glenn Haertlein, Project Vectus, Lulu, →ISBN, page 108,
      “Zeb, is everything go on the AV equipment?” I heard Jim ask. ¶ “Yep,” Zeb replied. “I just need to mike him up.” […] “All set,” he said once he clipped the wireless microphone to my shirtfront.
  2. To measure using a micrometer.
    • 1983, Tom S. Wilson, How to Rebuild Your Big-block Chevy, HPBooks, →ISBN, page 98,
      Measure Valve-Stem Diameter—To be positive about it you’ll have to mike the valve stem with a 1-in. micrometer as explained on pages 100 and 101.
Usage notes[edit]
  • This term is often found in the synonymous phrasal verb mike up, as in the 2006 quotation above.
Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Mike, representing the letter m.


mike (plural mikes)

  1. (military, slang) A minute.
    We'll be there in one zero mikes [i.e. ten minutes].

Etymology 3[edit]


mike (plural mikes)

  1. (slang) Short for microgram.
    • 1970, Milton Travers, Each Other's Victims (page 43)
      The beginner's dose may be anywhere from 100 to 250 mikes — micrograms, or millionths of a gram. Most hardened heads need 600 to 800 mikes, and some as many as 1,400 mikes, before they experience any sensation of getting off.





  1. Rōmaji transcription of みけ