Walter Mitty

Wal·​ter Mit·​ty | \ ˌwȯl-tər-ˈmi-tē How to pronounce Walter Mitty (audio) \

Definition of Walter Mitty

: a commonplace unadventurous person who seeks escape from reality through daydreaming

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from Walter Mitty

Walter Mittyish \ ˌwȯl-​tər-​ˈmi-​tē-​ish How to pronounce Walter Mitty (audio) \ adjective

Did you know?

The original "Walter Mitty" was created by humorist James Thurber, who wrote the famous story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty." In Walter's real life, he is a reticent, henpecked proofreader befuddled by everyday life. But in his fantasies, Walter imagines himself as various daring and heroic characters. Thurber's popular story, which was first published in The New Yorker in 1939, was later made into a movie. Walter Mitty has since become the eponym for dreamers who imagine themselves in dramatic or heroic situations.

First Known Use of Walter Mitty

1947, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for Walter Mitty

Walter Mitty, daydreaming hero of a story by James Thurber

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About Walter Mitty

Time Traveler for Walter Mitty

Time Traveler

The first known use of Walter Mitty was in 1947

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast About Walter Mitty

Dictionary Entries Near Walter Mitty

Walter's pine

Walter Mitty


See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for Walter Mitty

Cite this Entry

“Walter Mitty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!