mush room


[muhsh-room, -room]
any of various fleshy fungi including the toadstools, puffballs, coral fungi, morels, etc.
any of several edible species, especially of the family Agaricaceae, as Agaricus campestris (meadow mushroom or field mushroom) cultivated for food in the U.S.
anything of similar shape or correspondingly rapid growth.
a large, mushroom-shaped cloud of smoke or rubble, formed in the atmosphere as a result of an explosion, especially a nuclear explosion.
of, consisting of, or containing mushrooms: a mushroom omelet.
resembling a mushroom in shape or form.
of rapid growth and often brief duration: mushroom towns of the gold-rush days.
verb (used without object)
to spread, grow, or develop quickly.
to gather mushrooms.
to have or assume the shape of a mushroom.

1350–1400; alteration (by folk etymology) of Middle English muscheron, musseroun < Middle French mousseronLate Latin mussiriōn-, stem of mussiriō

mushroomlike, adjective
mushroomy, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mushroom (ˈmʌʃruːm, -rʊm)
1.  a.  pileus Compare toadstool the fleshy spore-producing body of any of various basidiomycetous fungi, typically consisting of a cap (pileus) at the end of a stem arising from an underground mycelium. Some species, such as the field mushroom, are edible
 b.  (as modifier): mushroom soup
2.  the fungus producing any of these structures
3.  a.  something resembling a mushroom in shape or rapid growth
 b.  (as modifier): mushroom expansion
4.  to grow rapidly: demand mushroomed overnight
5.  to assume a mushroom-like shape
6.  to gather mushrooms
[C15: from Old French mousseron, from Late Latin mussiriō, of obscure origin]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1440 (attested as a surname, John Mussheron, from 1327), from Anglo-Fr. musherun, perhaps from L.L. mussirionem (nom. mussirio), though this may as well be borrowed from Fr. Barnhart says "of uncertain origin." Klein calls it "a word of pre-Latin origin, used in the North of France;" OED says it usually
is held to be a derivative of Fr. mousse "moss," and Weekley agrees, saying it is properly "applied to variety which grows in moss." For the final -m he refers to grogram, vellum, venom. Used figuratively for "sudden appearance in full form" from 1590s. The verb meaning "expand or increase rapidly" is first recorded 1903. In ref. to the shape of clouds after explosions, etc., it is attested from 1916, though the actual phrase mushroom cloud does not appear until 1958.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
mushroom   (mŭsh'rm')  Pronunciation Key 

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Any of various basidiomycete fungi whose mycelium produces a spore-dispersing body (called a basidioma) that usually consists of a stalk topped by a fleshy, often umbrella-shaped cap. Some species of mushrooms are edible, though many are poisonous. The term mushroom is often applied to the stalk and cap alone. See more at basidiomycete.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
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