hum·​mock | \ ˈhə-mək How to pronounce hummock (audio) \

Definition of hummock

1 : a rounded knoll or hillock
2 : a ridge of ice

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Other Words from hummock

hummock verb
hummocky \ ˈhə-​mə-​kē How to pronounce hummock (audio) \ adjective

Where did hummock come from?

Hummock first appeared in English in the mid-1500s as an alteration of "hammock," another word which can be used for a small hill. This "hammock" is not related to the "hammock" we use to refer to a swinging bed made of netting or canvas. That "hammock" comes from the Spanish hamaca, and ultimately from Taino, a language spoken by the original inhabitants of the Greater Antilles and the Bahamas. The origins of the other "hammock" and the related "hummock" are still obscure, though they are related to Middle Low German hummel ("small height") and "hump" ("bump"). English also borrowed "hump," another word which can refer to a small hill or hummock.

Examples of hummock in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Like a swarm of rattlesnakes trying to escape their den, the first rat launches itself off the hummock toward the safety of the Roseau cane, revealing five or six others beneath. Gerry Bethge, Outdoor Life, "Hunting Nutria in the Louisiana Bayou," 21 Apr. 2020 The SoHo townhouse is packed with hummocks of clothes and sundry stuff, much of it to be donated to charity. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "Patti Smith has finally become the artist she always wanted to be," 23 Sep. 2019 Now the potholed muddy track meandering among the hummocks barely resembles a road. Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, "Russian Land of Permafrost and Mammoths Is Thawing," 4 Aug. 2019 As the permafrost thaws across Yakutia, some land sinks, transforming the terrain into an obstacle course of hummocks and craters — called thermokarst. Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, "Russian Land of Permafrost and Mammoths Is Thawing," 4 Aug. 2019 Beneath the sandy hummocks are riprap and cobblestones, substances that were already in the area before the project began. Barbara Henry, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Officials celebrate ‘living shoreline’ project’s conclusion," 23 May 2019 A year later, plants such as woolgrass bulrush, brome hummock sedge, giant bur-reed, marsh marigold, queen-of-the-prairie and spike gayfeather are attracting dragonflies and monarch butterflies. Patrick M. O'connell,, "A 'wild mile' on the Chicago River? It might be closer than you think," 22 June 2018 For those with no immediate job up the valley, beds were tundra hummocks a few hundred yards from the beach. Washington Post, "AP WAS THERE: 75 years ago, reporter lands on Attu Island," 29 May 2018 The atypical placement of the bunkers was a function of the distinctive topography of the site — hummocks, gorges, hills and dales that slanted and dipped. Bill Pennington, New York Times, "Bunkers at U.S. Open Course Give New Meaning to ‘Sand Hazard’," 14 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hummock.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hummock

1555, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hummock

alteration of hammock entry 2

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The first known use of hummock was in 1555

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Cite this Entry

“Hummock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for hummock



English Language Learners Definition of hummock

: a small hill


hum·​mock | \ ˈhə-mək How to pronounce hummock (audio) \

Kids Definition of hummock

: a rounded mound of earth : knoll

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More from Merriam-Webster on hummock

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hummock

Nglish: Translation of hummock for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about hummock

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