mickey mouse

mickey mouse

noun (often initial capital letters) Informal.
1.
trite and commercially slick in character; corny: mickey mouse music.
2.
useless, insignificant, or worthless: mickey mouse activities just to fill up one's time.
3.
trivial or petty: mickey mouse regulations.

Origin:
1930–35; after the animated cartoon character created by Walt Disney, orig. with reference to the banal dance-band music played as background to the cartoons

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
Mickey Mouse
 
adj
1.  ineffective; trivial; insignificant: he settled for a Mickey Mouse job instead of something challenging
2.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) (of music, esp that of dance bands) mechanical or spiritless
 
[C20: from the name of a cartoon character created by Walt Disney, known for his simple-minded attitudes]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Mickey Mouse
cartoon mouse character created 1928 by Walt Disney (1901-66). As an adj. meaning "small and worthless" it dates from 1936, originally used especially of mediocre dance-band music, a put-down based on the type of tunes played as background in cartoon films.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Mickey Mouse definition


A cartoon character created by Walt Disney. Mickey's image is so widespread that he has achieved the status of myth.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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