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See also: Mutton



From Middle English motoun, moton, from Old French mouton (sheep), from Vulgar Latin moltō, from Gaulish *multon-, from Proto-Celtic *moltos (ram, wether). Doublet of mouton.


  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈmʌtn̩/, [ˈmʌʔn̩]
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌtən


mutton (countable and uncountable, plural muttons)

  1. The meat of sheep used as food.
    Synonyms: sheepflesh, sheepmeat
  2. The meat of a sheep, goat, urial, or other caprine.
    Hyponym: goatmeat
    • 1903, George Fayette Thompson, A Manual of Angora Goat Raising: With a Chapter on Milch Goats, page 96:
      This prejudice against goat mutton is founded upon ignorance rather than experience. The most ill-smelling “billy” of the worst possible type is made the standard of goat flesh for the whole goat family.
    • 1910, Roger Lloyd Kennion, Sport and Life in the Further Himalaya, page 89:
      Generally urial mutton is excellent in spite of their strongly scented food, especially if the beasts are young. Their skins are valueless even to the Dard, who can turn most things to some account, and so one commonly finds them [discarded].
    • 1916, Frank Duane Gardner, Successful Farming; a Ready Reference on All Phases of Agriculture for Farmers of the United States and Canada, page 617:
      The mutton from goats is not considered nearly as good as mutton from sheep. Angora and common goats are found in almost every state in this country. They seem to do well under a wide range of climatic conditions.
    • 1920, Angora and Milk Goat Journal, page 13:
      BAKED HASH HOW TO COOK AND PREPARE GOAT MEAT / By Mrs. Finley Gilchrist / We have used goat mutton for three years. Everyone likes it. Dress and cool 48 hours before cooking, except liver and heart.
    • 1951, Code of Federal Regulations: 1949-1984, page 1036:
      ( 2 ) Goat mutton means meat derived from the carcasses of goats. ( b ) Ceiling prices. Ceiling prices for the sale at retail and at wholesale of locally produced sheep mutton and goat mutton not inspected by United States Government []
    • 2006, Pauline A. Brown, Jars of Clay: Ordinary Christians on an Extraordinary Mission in Southern Pakistan, Doorlight Publications, →ISBN, page 21:
      The choice was beef from water buffalo, and mutton from goats. Pork was not an option, of course; Muslims, like Jews, don't eat it. The trick was to get to the meat market early enough to be ahead of the flies.
    • 2009 April 10, Michael G. Walling, Bloodstained Sea, Cutter Publishing, →ISBN, page 9:
      Suddenly, a herd of what Gallaher believed to be musk ox came into view, and he shot one. [...] “The next seven days we had mutton.
  3. (archaic) A sheep.
  4. (typography slang) Em, a unit of measurement equal to the height of the type in use.
  5. (obsolete, slang) A prostitute.
    Synonym: laced mutton
  6. (historical) An old Anglo-French gold coin impressed with the image of a lamb.



  • (meat of a sheep): lamb

Derived terms[edit]



mutton (not comparable)

  1. (Cockney rhyming slang) deaf.
    Synonym: Mutton Jeff
    • 2009, Alan Smithie, Sperm, Wonderful Sperm!, page 67:
      He's been a bit mutton in one ear for a long time; not due to my mother, but as a result of all the years spent working in a noisy car factory.

See also[edit]

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of motoun