midden

noun
mid·​den | \ ˈmi-dᵊn How to pronounce midden (audio) \

Definition of midden

2a : a refuse heap especially : kitchen midden
b : a small pile (as of seeds, bones, or leaves) gathered by a rodent (such as a pack rat)

Examples of midden in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pack rats, also known as wood rats, are notorious for collecting an odd assortment of items from their surroundings to make their nests, called middens. Sadie Witkowski, Smithsonian, "From Ancient Seeds to Scraps of Clothing, Rats’ Nests Are Full of Treasures," 15 Nov. 2019 Englehardt finds ample material on a fictional campus, this time in Arkansas at Ozarka University, driving distance from rural communities where four-wheelers flatten the blackberries between diaper middens. Washington Post, "In the story of a mass shooting, ‘Bloomland’ reveals the bloody tapestry of a beleaguered nation," 16 Sep. 2019 More than 400 mound sites, known as middens, have been recorded in Marin County, including one in Larkspur that archaeologists excavated for the first time in 2014, revealing a treasure trove of Coast Miwok life dating back 4,500 years. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Artifacts alter timeline for Native Americans in California," 8 Sep. 2019 Around midafternoon on a recent July day, on a small island called Kakmakimiłh or Keith Island, the sounds of trowels crunching on shell middens and hoses pouring water on screens was interrupted by a series of excited shouts (and a few expletives). Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "This Centuries-Old Geoduck Shell May Rewrite the Rules About Who Can Harvest the Fancy Clam," 27 Aug. 2019 The Farasans are home to thousands of shell middens. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Rising Seas Swallowed Countless Archaeological Sites. Scientists Want Them Back," 20 May 2019 The midden was layered in white bands in the ground stacked head-high along the shore. Anchorage Daily News, "Where are the salmon and the orcas? Tribe, scientists grapple with unprecedented disappearance in Washington waters," 6 Aug. 2019 Wood recently obtained ancient DNA from rodent middens that were buried in rock crevices in the Atacama Desert in Chile from as far back as 50,000 years ago. Quanta Magazine, "Ancient DNA Yields Snapshots of Vanished Ecosystems," 29 May 2019 The oldest of these middens were created about 7,000 years ago. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Rising Seas Swallowed Countless Archaeological Sites. Scientists Want Them Back," 20 May 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'midden.' 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 midden

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for midden

Middle English midding, from Old Norse *mykdyngja, from myki dung + dyngja manure pile — more at dung

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Time Traveler for midden

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The first known use of midden was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

26 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Midden.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/midden. Accessed 23 January 2020.

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