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[mid-n] /ˈmɪd n/
a dunghill or refuse heap.
Origin of midden
1300-50; Middle English midding < Old Danish mykdyngja, equivalent to myk manure + dyngja pile (Danish mødding) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for midden
  • One staff member sat atop what archaeologists call-or will call in a thousand years-a midden pile.
  • And if the time range correlated across the multiple midden samples, then it would be a stronger case.
  • Their midden piles provide a source of conifer seeds for foresters.
  • The site contains burial mounds, pottery and an oyster shell midden.
  • One may find the remnants of a meal, a pile of cleaned mussels called a midden, along the bank of a stream.
  • The raised areas around the village are midden mounds or earthen mounds ranging from one to ten feet high.
British Dictionary definitions for midden


  1. (archaic or dialect) a dunghill or pile of refuse
  2. (dialect) a dustbin
  3. (Northern English, dialect) an earth closet
Word Origin
C14: from Scandinavian; compare Danish mödding from mögmuck + dynge pile
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for midden

mid-14c., "dung hill," of Scandinavian origin; cf. Danish mødding, from møg "muck" (see muck (n.)) + dynge "heap of dung" (see dung). Modern archaeological sense of "kitchen midden" is from Danish excavations.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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