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[mahym, meem] /maɪm, mim/
the art or technique of portraying a character, mood, idea, or narration by gestures and bodily movements; pantomime.
an actor who specializes in this art.
an ancient Greek or Roman farce that depended for effect largely upon ludicrous actions and gestures.
a player in such a farce.
mimic (def 4).
a jester, clown, or comedian.
verb (used with object), mimed, miming.
to mimic.
to act in mime.
verb (used without object), mimed, miming.
to play a part by mime or mimicry.
Origin of mime
1610-20; < Latin mīmus < Greek mîmos imitator, mime, akin to mīmeîsthai to copy, imitate
Related forms
mimer, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mime
  • Most of the solos were introduced by each dancer explaining the gestures of the mime used in the storytelling.
  • For example, the ex-smoker might mime putting out a cigarette in an ashtray to his right, even as he looked to the left.
  • Also in the sense that many of the figures who mime the chorus wear no clothes.
  • Bush employs elaborate theatrical techniques borrowed from mime and modern dance to frame her ethereal pop operas.
  • Yet more surprising, the properties of these mirror neurons suggest that human language began in gesture and mime, not in speech.
  • For the actors, for example, you can't ask them to mime things.
  • Producers tried out a mime wearing an animatronic ape costume, but determined that they needed another approach.
  • It's not mime, not a poor, pidgin derivative of spoken tongues--it's a richly endowed language in and of itself.
  • Rust delivered an awkward mime full of curious hand gestures, which was greeted by lukewarm laughter and sideways glances.
  • We had a mime and a construction worker all there to see how on it they were.
British Dictionary definitions for mime


the theatrical technique of expressing an idea or mood or portraying a character entirely by gesture and bodily movement without the use of words
Also called mime artist. a performer specializing in such a technique, esp a comic actor
a dramatic presentation using such a technique
(in the classical theatre)
  1. a comic performance depending for effect largely on exaggerated gesture and physical action
  2. an actor in such a performance
to express (an idea) in actions or gestures without speech
(of singers or musicians) to perform as if singing (a song) or playing (a piece of music) that is actually prerecorded
Derived Forms
mimer, noun
Word Origin
Old English mīma, from Latin mīmus mimic actor, from Greek mimos imitator


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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 mime

c.1600, "a buffoon who practices gesticulations" [Johnson], from French mime (16c.) and directly from Latin mimus, from Greek mimos "imitator, mimic, actor, mime, buffoon," of unknown origin. In reference to a performance, 1640s in a classical context; 1932 as "a pantomime."


1610s, "to act without words," from mime (n.). The transferred sense of "to imitate" is from 1733 (Greek mimeisthai meant "to imitate"). Meaning "to pretend to be singing a pre-recorded song" is from 1965. Related: mimed; miming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mime in Technology
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Related Abbreviations for mime


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