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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for mums the word

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 mums the word

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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8
11
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