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[muhm-uh-fahy] /ˈmʌm əˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), mummified, mummifying.
to make (a dead body) into a mummy, as by embalming and drying.
to make (something) resemble a mummy; dry or shrivel up:
The dead lizard was mummified by the hot desert air.
to preserve (an idea, institution, custom, etc.) that may have outlived its usefulness or relevance:
Those mummified customs have no place in society today.
verb (used without object), mummified, mummifying.
to dry or shrivel up.
Origin of mummify
1620-30; mummy1 + -fy
Related forms
mummification, noun
half-mummified, adjective
unmummified, adjective
unmummifying, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for mummification
Historical Examples
  • mummification was, as has been said, probably an invention of the Osirian cult.

  • Professor Garstang did not recognize that mummification had been attempted.

    The Evolution of the Dragon G. Elliot Smith
  • The most remarkable fact was the entire absence of mummification, at least, of any effective kind.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • His skin was dark though its color might have been affected by mummification.

    The Record of Currupira Robert Abernathy
  • mummification was extensively practised even among Christians, and amulets were buried in their coffins.

  • The first service was that of mummification, which necessitated numbers of workers for its accomplishment.

  • This fact certainly agrees badly with the idea just expressed of the absence of mummification.

    El Kab J.E. Quibell
  • After the latter moved north, they found that the bodies of their dead decayed, and the practice of mummification was introduced.

  • The decoration of the coffin and the manner of mummification of the body were both similar to 1.

    Five Years' Explorations at Thebes George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Carnarvon
  • At a later period every provincial temple was provided with an establishment for the purpose of mummification.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
British Dictionary definitions for mummification


verb -fies, -fying, -fied
(transitive) to preserve the body of (a human or animal) as a mummy
(intransitive) to dry up; shrivel
(transitive) to preserve (an outdated idea, institution, etc) while making lifeless
Derived Forms
mummification, noun
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 mummification

1800, from mummy + -fication.



1620s, from French momifier, from momie "mummy," from Medieval Latin mumia (see mummy) + -fier "to make into" (see -fy). Related: Mummified; mummifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mummification in Medicine

mummification mum·mi·fi·ca·tion (mŭm'ə-fĭ-kā'shən)
The shrivelling of a dead and retained fetus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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