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mull1

[muhl] /mʌl/
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 of mull1
1815-1825
1815-25; perhaps identical with dial. mull to crumble, pulverize; see mull4
Synonyms
1. consider, weigh.

mull2

[muhl] /mʌl/
verb (used with object)
1.
to heat, sweeten, and flavor with spices for drinking, as ale or wine.
Origin
1610-20; origin uncertain

mull4

[muhl] /mʌl/
verb (used with object), Metallurgy
1.
to mix (clay and sand) under a roller for use in preparing a mold.
Origin
1400-50; compare dial.: to crumble, pulverize, Middle English mollen, mullen, orig., to moisten, soften by wetting; see moil
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mulling
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In reality, had Bob only known, they were mulling the situation over in their respective minds, and Carson knew they were.

  • The lookout broke in on his mulling over with a sudden shout.

    A Man to His Mate J. Allan Dunn
  • This skill is also known as gestation, mulling things over, and getting a handle on things.

  • Of evenings we can court and drink liquor of my own mulling.

    Tales of the Chesapeake George Alfred Townsend
  • The best way of mulling claret is simply to heat it with a sufficient quantity of sugar and a stick of cinnamon.

    Cups and their Customs George Edwin Roberts
British Dictionary definitions for mulling

mull1

/mʌl/
verb
1.
(transitive) often foll by over. to study or ponder
Word Origin
C19: probably from muddle

mull2

/mʌl/
verb
1.
(transitive) to heat (wine, ale, etc) with sugar and spices to make a hot drink
Derived Forms
mulled, adjective
Word Origin
C17: of unknown origin

mull3

/mʌl/
noun
1.
a light muslin fabric of soft texture
Word Origin
C18: earlier mulmull, from Hindi malmal

mull4

/mʌl/
noun
1.
a layer of nonacidic humus formed in well drained and aerated soils Compare mor
Word Origin
C20: from Danish muld; see mould³

mull5

/mʌl/
noun
1.
(Scot) a promontory
Word Origin
C14: related to Gaelic maol, Icelandic múli

Mull

/mʌl/
noun
1.
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 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 mulling

mull

v.

"ponder," 1873, perhaps from a figurative use of Middle English mullyn "grind to powder, pulverize," from molle "dust, ashes, rubbish" (c.1300), probably from Middle Dutch mul "grit, loose earth," related to mill (n.1). 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.

"sweeten, spice and heat a drink," c.1600, of unknown origin, perhaps from Dutch mol, a kind of white, sweet beer, or from Flemish molle a kind of beer, and related to words for "to soften." Related: Mulled; mulling.

n.

"promontory" (in Scottish place names), late 14c., perhaps from Old Norse muli "a jutting crag, projecting ridge (between two valleys)," which probably is identical with muli "snout, muzzle." The Norse word is related to Old Frisian mula, Middle Dutch mule, muul, Old High German mula, German Maul "muzzle, mouth." Alternative etymology traces it to Gaelic maol "brow of a hill or rock," also "bald," from Old Celtic *mailo-s (cf. Irish maol, Old Irish máel, máil, Welsh moel).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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