mull over

mull

1 [muhl]
verb (used without object)
1.
to study or ruminate; ponder.
verb (used with object)
2.
to think about carefully; consider (often followed by over ): to mull over an idea.
3.
to make a mess or failure of.

Origin:
1815–25; perhaps identical with dial. mull to crumble, pulverize; see mull4


1. consider, weigh.
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World English Dictionary
mull1 (mʌl)
 
vb (often foll by over)
to study or ponder
 
[C19: probably from muddle]

mull2 (mʌl)
 
vb
(tr) to heat (wine, ale, etc) with sugar and spices to make a hot drink
 
[C17: of unknown origin]
 
'mulled2
 
adj

mull3 (mʌl)
 
n
a light muslin fabric of soft texture
 
[C18: earlier mulmull, from Hindi malmal]

mull4 (mʌl)
 
n
Compare mor a layer of nonacidic humus formed in well drained and aerated soils
 
[C20: from Danish muld; see mould³]

mull5 (mʌl)
 
n
(Scot) a promontory
 
[C14: related to Gaelic maol, Icelandic múli]

Mull (mʌl)
 
n
a mountainous island off the west coast of Scotland, in the Inner Hebrides, separated from the mainland by the Sound of Mull. Chief town: Tobermory. Pop: 2667 (2001). Area: 909 sq km (351 sq miles)

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

mull
"ponder," 1873, perhaps ult. from M.E. mullyn "grind to powder, pulverize," from molle "dust, ashes, rubbish," probably from M.Du. mul "grit, loose earth," related to mill. But Webster's (1879) defined it as "to work steadily without accomplishing much," which may connect it to earlier identical word
in athletics sense of "to botch, muff" (1862). Related: Mulled; mulling.

mull
"sweeten, spice and heat a drink," c.1600, perhaps from Du. mol, a kind of white, sweet beer, or from Flem. molle a kind of beer. Related: Mulled; mulling.

mull
"promontory" (in Scottish place names), late 14c., perhaps from O.N. muli "a jutting crag, projecting ridge (between two valleys)," which probably is identical with muli "snout, muzzle." The O.N. word is related to O.Fris. mula, M.Du. mule, muul, O.H.G. mula, Ger. Maul "muzzle, mouth." Alternative etymology
traces it to Gael. maol "brow of a hill or rock," also "bald," from O.Celt. *mailo-s (cf. Ir. maol, O.Ir. máel, máil, Welsh moel).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

mull over

Ponder, think about, as in She mulled over the offer for some time and then turned it down. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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