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 hummocky (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

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 Hummocks of grass may be in short supply at 23rd and G streets NW, but there’s plenty of history at St. Mary’s Church, which over the weekend celebrated its 150th anniversary as the city’s first African American congregation of the Episcopal Church. John Kelly, Washington Post, "It’s sesquicentennial time for St. Mary’s, the historic Foggy Bottom church," 12 June 2017 Already, dune hummocks have formed, and about 10,000 seedlings that include flowering sand verbena and beach evening primrose dot the beach enclosure. Dan Weikel,, "Santa Monica's new back-to-nature beach project has drawn the attention of rare birds. But can beach-goers let them live in peace?," 10 May 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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Statistics for hummock

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for hummock

The first known use of hummock was in 1555

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hummock

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for hummock

Spanish Central: Translation of hummock

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

Comments on hummock

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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