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

Definition of midden

1 : dunghill
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 Elsewhere on the Zapatero midden, Salazar and his colleagues found similar layers of sand and ripped-up ground left behind by an ancient tsunami, along with channels gouged out by the tsunami's strong, sudden current. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, 7 Apr. 2022 Securing Holguin’s tribe’s blessing to dig at a midden can require years of bureaucracy and tricky in-person politics. Ross Andersen, The Atlantic, 7 Sep. 2021 The first two hunter-gatherer graves were found in 1875 in a shell midden, an ancient pile of waste like mussel shells and fish bones, in Riņņukalns, Latvia. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 June 2021 The specimens were lost during World War II and relocated in 2011, when researchers returned to the midden and found another two graves. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 30 June 2021 By the time the Spanish arrived in 1513, the midden was the highest elevation for miles around, rising more than 30 feet. Southern Living, 12 July 2020 For a variety of reasons, rat middens make excellent stockpiles of ancient DNA. Marion Renault, New York Times, 20 Feb. 2020 The site, known as Par-Tee, boasted a shell midden—or sizable heap of shells, bones, utensils and other miscellaneous objects—that contained some 7,000 tools dated to between 100 and 800 A.D. Few of these relics have ever been studied. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, 21 Dec. 2019 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, 15 Nov. 2019 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Midden.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/midden. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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