mummy

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English[edit]

An Egyptian mummy (embalmed corpse) at the Musée du Louvre, Paris
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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Anglo-Norman mumie, from Middle French momie, from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic مومياء (mūmiyā'), from Persian مومیا (mumyā), from موم (mum, wax).

Noun[edit]

mummy (plural mummies)

  1. An embalmed corpse wrapped in linen bandages for burial, especially as practised by the ancient Egyptians.
    • 1832, Royal Society (Great Britain), Abstracts of The Papers Printed in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, From 1800 to 1830 inclusive, Volume 1: 1800-1814, page 201,
      [] Mr. Pearson proceeds to give a particular description of the very perfect mummy of an Ibis, which forms the chief subject of the present paper.
    • 2007, S. T. Joshi, Icons of Horror and the Supernatural: An Encyclopedia of Our Worst Nightmares, Volume 1, page 376,
      For many, mummies fascinate more than repel. Our horrific connotations lie not so much with the mummy itself, but in associated fears. The mummy serves, of course, as a general reminder of our own mortality and our fear of death, but this alone is not enough to make it a monster.
    • 2008, Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen,, Mysteries Unwrapped: The Real Monsters, page 2,
      Many people believed in the curse of the mummy, and soon, the curse had become an accepted part of Tut′s legend.
  2. Any naturally preserved human or animal body.
  3. The dried flesh of a mummy.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir. J. Hill to this entry?)
  4. (uncountable, medicine, historical) A substance used in medicine, prepared from mummified flesh.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir T. Herbert to this entry?)
    • 1978, Benjamin Walker, Encyclopedia of Metaphysical Medicine, Routledge 1978, p. 253:
      Yet another scatological medicament was obtained from mummy, the material derived from a dried or embalmed human corpse, the most valuable being that imported from Mizraim (ancient Egypt).
  5. (archaic) A pulp.
  6. A brown pigment obtained from bitumen, also called mummy brown.
  7. A sort of wax used in grafting, etc.
  8. (figuratively) One whose affections and energies are withered.
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Verb[edit]

mummy (third-person singular simple present mummies, present participle mummying, simple past and past participle mummied)

  1. (dated, transitive) To mummify.
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Diminutive of mum, related to mom and mommy, from mother.

Noun[edit]

mummy (plural mummies)

  1. (chiefly UK, usually childish) A child's term for mother.
    • 1926, John Steinbeck, The Saturday Evening Post, Volume 198, page 9,
      “Oh, mummy, would you like the loveliest daughter-in-law in the world? Oh, mummy, I must marry Flora Dewsley. But I know I am not nearly good enough, mummy. She knows nothing of the world and its wickedness, and I — Well, mummy, at school, a fellow learns everything. And no man is perfect, is he, mummy? []
    • 1927, Harper's Magazine, Volume 155, page 188,
      Meeting mummy after this visit was not exactly easy.
    • 2003, Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin, 2010, unnumbered page,
      [] What′s your problem, you little shit? Proud of yourself, for ruining Mummy′s life?” I was careful to use the insipid falsetto the experts commend. “You′ve got Daddy snowed, but Mummy′s got your number. You're a little shit, aren′t you?″
    • 2004, Dennis Child, Psychology and the Teacher, Continuum International Publishing, page 91,
      [] We have to ask mummy if we can go to Rajah′s mummy′s house (Rajah′s mummy is the owner of the dog). We can if mummy says “yes”. []
    • 2009, Paul Harding, Tinkers, 2010, unnumbered page,
      Darla stared at her father and said, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy!
      Marjorie wheezed and said, Father. You. Are. Filthy!
      Joe said Daddy′s muddy! Daddy′s muddy!
      Darla stared at the darkened doorway where Howard stood, saying, Mummy, Mummy, Mummy, each time a little louder, each time a bit more shrilly, [] .
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