Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


adjective \ˈmīn\

Definition of mine

  1. :  my —used before a word beginning with a vowel or h <this treasure in mine arms — Shakespeare> or sometimes as a modifier of a preceding noun —archaic except in an elevated style

Origin of mine

Middle English min, from Old English mīn — more at my

First Known Use: before 12th century



pronoun, singular or plural in construction

Definition of mine

  1. :  that which belongs to me —used without a following noun as a pronoun equivalent in meaning to the adjective my

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of mine

before 12th century




Simple Definition of mine

  • : a pit or tunnel from which minerals (such as coal, gold, diamonds, etc.) are taken

  • : a bomb that is placed in the ground or in water and that explodes when it is touched

  • : a rich source of something (such as information)

Full Definition of mine

  1. 1 a :  a pit or excavation in the earth from which mineral substances are taken b :  an ore deposit

  2. 2 :  a subterranean passage under an enemy position

  3. 3 :  an encased explosive that is placed in the ground or in water and set to explode when disturbed

  4. 4 :  a rich source of supply

Examples of mine

  1. <a baseball fanatic who is a mine of fascinating trivia about the game>

  2. <the soldiers were careful to disarm any mines they found in their path>

Origin of mine

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Vulgar Latin *mina, probably of Celtic origin; akin to Welsh mwyn ore

First Known Use: 14th century

Other Mining and Drilling Terms




Simple Definition of mine

  • : to dig a mine in order to find and take away coal, gold, diamonds, etc.

  • : to find and take away (coal, gold, diamonds, etc.) from a mine

  • : to search for something valuable in (something)

Full Definition of mine


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to dig under to gain access or cause the collapse of (an enemy position) b :  undermine

  3. 2 a :  to get (as ore) from the earth b :  to extract from a source <information mined from the files>

  4. 3 :  to burrow beneath the surface of <larva that mines leaves>

  5. 4 :  to place military mines in, on, or under <mine a harbor>

  6. 5 a :  to dig into for ore or metal b :  to process for obtaining a natural constituent <mine the air for nitrogen> c :  to seek valuable material in <mine old records for more details>

  7. intransitive verb
  8. :  to dig a mine

min·er noun

Examples of mine

  1. The area was soon filled with prospectors who were mining for gold.

  2. Prospectors mined the region for diamonds.

  3. Local people were hired to mine the gold.

  4. The enemy had mined the harbor.

14th Century

First Known Use of mine

14th century

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up mine? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders duvet pince-nez spindrift
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.