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mum1

[muhm] /mʌm/
adjective
1.
silent; not saying a word:
to keep mum.
interjection
2.
say nothing! be silent!
Idioms
3.
mum's the word, do not reveal what you know (about something); keep silent:
Mum's the word, or the surprise party won't be a surprise.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English momme; imitative

mum2

[muhm] /mʌm/
verb (used without object), mummed, mumming.
1.
to say “mum”; call for silence.
2.
to act as a mummer.
Also, mumm.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English mommen, v. use of mum1; compare Middle Dutch mommen to act the mummer's part

mum3

[muhm] /mʌm/
noun
Origin
shortened form

mum4

[muhm] /mʌm/
noun, Chiefly British
1.
Origin
1815-25; nursery word; see mom

mum5

[muhm] /mʌm/
noun
1.
a strong beer or ale, first made in Brunswick, Germany.
Origin
1630-40; < German Mumme, said to have been named after the brewer who made it

mum6

[muhm] /mʌm/
noun, Chiefly British
1.
Origin
variant of ma'am
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for mum
  • Of course, everyone involved is keeping mum about the new product.
  • Danny let his mum stay up in his room that night, because she was too afraid to come downstairs at all.
  • Although they found the answer, scientists had to keep mum until the agency completed its inquiry.
  • Staying home to care for mum has taken its toll on him.
  • And in case you might need some extra justification for what others have said on keeping mum on the politics, consider this.
  • As to the nature of this rapport, both the catalogue and the work remain mum.
  • Maybe there is nothing that the university could do to me for keeping mum.
  • The guys are keeping mum on the bike's performance and specs.
  • They all know where they are, but they're keeping mum.
  • My mum helped sew costumes for my friends and everyone got involved.
British Dictionary definitions for mum

mum1

/mʌm/
noun
1.
(mainly Brit) an informal word for mother1
Word Origin
C19: a child's word

mum2

/mʌm/
adjective
1.
keeping information to oneself; silent
noun
2.
mum's the word, silence or secrecy is to be observed
Word Origin
C14: suggestive of closed lips

mum3

/mʌm/
verb mums, mumming, mummed
1.
(intransitive) to act in a mummer's play
Word Origin
C16: verbal use of mum²

mum4

/mʌm/
noun
1.
(Brit, obsolete) a type of beer made from cereals, beans, etc
Word Origin
C17: from German Mumme, perhaps from the name of its original brewer
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 mum
interj.

"be silent," 1560s, from Middle English mum, mom (late 14c.), inarticulate closed-mouth sound, indicative of unwillingness or inability to speak. As an adjective meaning "secret" from 1520s. Phrase mum's the word is first recorded 1704.

n.

abbreviation of chrysanthemum, first attested 1915 in the jargon of gardeners.

pet word for "mother," 1823, short for mummy (see mamma). In British sociology, used from 1957 in reference to "the working class mother as an influence in the lives of her children." Also sometimes a vulgar corruption of madam.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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