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 By the time the Spanish arrived in 1513, the midden was the highest elevation for miles around, rising more than 30 feet. Southern Living, "The Ultimate Guide to the Great Calusa Blueway," 12 July 2020 For a variety of reasons, rat middens make excellent stockpiles of ancient DNA. Marion Renault, New York Times, "Reading the Past in Old, Urine-Caked Rat’s Nests," 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, "These Miniature Tools Taught Ancient Children How to Hunt and Fight," 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, "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

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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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 28 Feb. 2021.

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