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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English mount, munt, from Old English munt, from Latin mōns (a hill, mountain), from a root seen also in ēmineō (I project, I protrude) (English eminent). Doublet of mons.


mount (plural mounts)

  1. A hill or mountain.
  2. (palmistry) Any of seven fleshy prominences in the palm of the hand, taken to represent the influences of various heavenly bodies.
    the mount of Jupiter
  3. (obsolete) A bulwark for offence or defence; a mound.
  4. (obsolete) A bank; a fund.
  5. (heraldry) A green hillock in the base of a shield.
Usage notes[edit]

As with the names of rivers and lakes, the names of mountains are typically formed by adding the word before or after the unique term. Mount is used in situations where the word precedes the unique term: Mount Everest, Mount Rushmore, Mount Tai. Except in the misunderstood translation of foreign names (as with China's Mount Hua), the terms used with mount will therefore usually be nouns: Mount Olympus but Rugged Mountain and Crowfoot Mountain. It thus corresponds to the earlier the mount or mountain of ~.

Mount is no longer used as a generic synonym for mountain except in poetry and other literary contexts. An example is the fossilized form within the phrase Sermon on the Mount.

  • (palmistry): mons (obsolete)
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See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English mounten, from Anglo-Norman munter, from Vulgar Latin *montāre (climb), from Latin montem (mountain). Compare modern French monter.


mount (plural mounts)

  1. An animal, usually a horse, used to ride on (unlike a draught horse).
    The rider climbed onto his mount.
  2. (now only figurative) A car, bicycle, or motorcycle used for racing.
  3. A mounting; an object on which another object is mounted.
    The post is the mount on which the mailbox is installed.
  4. (obsolete) A rider in a cavalry unit or division.
    The General said he has 2,000 mounts.
  5. A step or block to assist in mounting a horse.
  6. A signal for mounting a horse.
  7. (martial arts) A dominant ground grappling position, where one combatant sits on the other combatants torso with the face pointing towards the opponent's head.
Derived terms[edit]


mount (third-person singular simple present mounts, present participle mounting, simple past and past participle mounted)

  1. (transitive) To get upon; to ascend; to climb.
    to mount stairs
    • 1697, Virgil, “(please specify the page)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      Or shall we mount again the Rural Throne,
      And rule the Country Kingdoms, once our own?
  2. (transitive) To place oneself on (a horse, a bicycle, etc.); to bestride.
    The rider mounted his horse.
  3. (transitive) To cause to mount; to put on horseback; to furnish with animals for riding.
    • 1697, Virgil, “(please specify the book number)”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      to mount the Trojan troop
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To cause (something) to rise or ascend; to drive up; to raise; to elevate; to lift up.
  5. (transitive, martial arts) To sit on a combatants torso with the face pointing towards the opponent's head; to assume the mount position in ground grappling.
  6. (intransitive, rare) To rise on high; to go up; to be upraised or uplifted; to tower aloft; to ascend; often with up.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Jeremiah 51:53, column 1:
      Though Babylon ſhould mount vp to heauen, and though ſhee ſhould fortifie the height of her ſtrength, yet from me ſhall ſpoilers come vnto her, ſaith the Lord.
    • 1656, Abraham Cowley, Davideis:
      The fire of trees and houses mounts on high.
    • 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “The Author Permitted to See the Grand Academy of Lagado. []”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. [] [Gulliver’s Travels], volume II, London: [] Benj[amin] Motte, [], →OCLC, part III (A Voyage to Laputa, Balnibarbi, Glubbdubdribb, Luggnagg, and Japan), page 78:
      I was at the Mathematical School, where the Maſter taught his Pupils after a Method ſcarce imaginable to us in Europe. The Propoſition and Demonſtration were fairly written on a thin Wafer, with Ink compoſed of a Cephalick Tincture. This the Student was to ſwallow upon a faſting Stomach, and for three days following eat nothing but Bread and Water. As the Wafer digeſted, the Tincture mounted to his Brain, bearing the Propoſition along with it.
    • 1850, [Alfred, Lord Tennyson], In Memoriam, London: Edward Moxon, [], →OCLC, Canto XL, page 62:
      ⁠Thy spirit ere our fatal loss
      ⁠Did ever rise from high to higher;
      ⁠As mounts the heavenward altar-fire,
      As flies the lighter thro’ the gross.
  7. (transitive) To attach (an object) to a support, backing, framework etc.
    to mount a mailbox on a post
    to mount a specimen on a small plate of glass for viewing by a microscope
    to mount a photograph on cardboard
    to mount an engine in a car
    • 1879, R[ichard] J[efferies], chapter 1, in The Amateur Poacher, London: Smith, Elder, & Co., [], →OCLC:
      But then I had the [massive] flintlock by me for protection. ¶ [] The linen-press and a chest on the top of it formed, however, a very good gun-carriage; and, thus mounted, aim could be taken out of the window at the old mare feeding in the meadow below by the brook, and a 'bead' could be drawn upon Molly, the dairymaid, kissing the fogger behind the hedge, [].
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter IV, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC:
      “My Continental prominence is improving,” I commented dryly.
      Von Lindowe cut at a furze bush with his silver-mounted rattan.
      “Quite so,” he said as dryly, his hand at his mustache. “I may say if your intentions were known your life would not be worth a curse.”
    • 1912, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World [], London, New York, N.Y.: Hodder and Stoughton, →OCLC:
      He spends his days flitting through the woods with his shot-gun and his butterfly-net, and his evenings in mounting the many specimens he has acquired.
  8. (transitive, computing) To attach (a drive or device) to the file system in order to make it available to the operating system.
    • 1998, Lincoln D. Stein, Web Security: A Step-by-step Reference Guide, page 377:
      Burn the contents of the staging area onto a writable CD-ROM, carry it over to the Web server, and mount it.
  9. (intransitive, sometimes with up) To increase in quantity or intensity.
    The bills mounted up and the business failed.  There is mounting tension in Crimea.
  10. (obsolete) To attain in value; to amount (to).
  11. (transitive) To get on top of (another) for the purpose of copulation.
    • 1981, William Irwin Thompson, The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light: Mythology, Sexuality and the Origins of Culture, London: Rider/Hutchinson & Co., page 16:
      When God presented Lilith to Adam, Adam was overjoyed and enthusiastically set her on the ground and tried to mount her after the fashion of the animals; but Lilith protested and said: "Why should I be on the bottom and you on the top?"
  12. (transitive) To have sexual intercourse with someone.
  13. (transitive) To begin (a campaign, military assault, etc.); to launch.
    The General gave the order to mount the attack.
    • 2012 May 5, Phil McNulty, “Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport:
      For Liverpool, their season will now be regarded as a relative disappointment after failure to add the FA Cup to the Carling Cup and not mounting a challenge to reach the Champions League places.
    • 2023 August 7, Clive Cookson, “Missing ice and bleached coral: the sudden warming of the oceans”, in Financial Times[1]:
      Corals mount a two-stage response to heat stress, first bleaching and then dying. Some of the southernmost reefs, exposed to the hottest water, are already dead but those in slightly cooler locations have a better chance of survival and regeneration.
  14. (transitive, archaic) To deploy (cannon) for use.
    to mount a cannon
  15. (transitive) To prepare and arrange the scenery, furniture, etc. for use in (a play or production).
  16. (cooking) To incorporate fat, especially butter, into (a dish, especially a sauce to finish it).
    Mount the sauce with one tablespoon of butter.
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Further reading[edit]


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English munt and Anglo-Norman mount, both from Latin mōns.



mount (plural mountes or mouns)

  1. A mountain; a mount or peak, especially the Alps.

Related terms[edit]


  • English: mount
  • Scots: munt