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 we know they share an ancestor with Middle Low German hummel ("small height") and hump ("bump"). The latter of those is also a cousin of the English word 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, 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, 23 Sep. 2019 Now the potholed muddy track meandering among the hummocks barely resembles a road. Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, 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, 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, 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,, 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, 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, 14 June 2017 See More

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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Dictionary Entries Near hummock

hummingbird sage



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Cite this Entry

“Hummock.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for hummock


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

Kids Definition of hummock

: a rounded mound of earth : knoll

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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