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Etymology 1[edit]

Perhaps borrowed from Middle Dutch mompen (to mumble), akin to German mimpfeln (to mumble), Icelandic mumpa (to take into the mouth). See also English mum.


mump (third-person singular simple present mumps, present participle mumping, simple past and past participle mumped)

  1. (intransitive) To mumble, speak unclearly.
    • 1773, Oliver Goldsmith, "Epilogue Spoklen by Mrs. Bulkley and Miss Catley [intended for She Stoops to Conquer]":
      Who mump their passion, and who, grimly smiling,
      Still thus address the fair with voice beguiling ...
  2. To move the lips with the mouth closed; to mumble, as in sulkiness.
    • 1630, John Taylor, "The Necessitie of Hanging":
      He mumps, and lowres, and hangs the lip ...
  3. (intransitive) To beg, especially if using a repeated phrase.
  4. To deprive of (something) by cheating; to impose upon.
  5. To cheat; to deceive; to play the beggar.
    • 1774, Edmund Burke, "Speech on American Taxation, April 19, 1774":
      Your ministerial directors blustered like tragic tyrants here; and then went mumping with a sore leg in America, canting, and whining, and complaining of faction, which represented them as friends to a revenue from the colonies.
  6. To be sullen or sulky.
    • 1948, James Gould Cozzens, Guard of Honor:
      It remained necessary to make a shift at bearing yourself like a man; not mumping, not moping.
    • 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Lecture 2:
      The Christian also spurns the pinched and mumping sick-room attitude, and the lives of saints are full of a kind of callousness to diseased conditions of body which probably no other human records show.
Derived terms[edit]


mump (plural mumps)

  1. (obsolete) A grimace

Etymology 2[edit]


mump (plural mumps)

  1. (Britain, dialect, Somerset) A cube of peat.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for mump in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)