\ˈmīm also ˈmēm \

Definition of mime 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : an ancient dramatic entertainment representing scenes from life usually in a ridiculous manner

2a : an actor in a mime

b : one that practices mime


mimed; miming

Definition of mime (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to act a part with mimic gesture and action usually without words

transitive verb

1 : mimic

2 : to act out in the manner of a mime

Definition of MIME (Entry 3 of 3)

multipurpose Internet mail extensions

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Other Words from mime


mimer noun

Synonyms for mime

Synonyms: Noun

mimic, mummer, pantomime, pantomimist

Synonyms: Verb

ape, copy, copycat, emulate, imitate, mimic

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Examples of mime in a Sentence


an actor with a gift for mime a performance done in mime an actor who is a talented mime


He mimed playing a guitar. She mimed picking up the phone and dialing a number.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Look for mimes, buskers and street performers throughout the festival. Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bastille Days is back Thursday, but the geography's shifted due to streetcar testing," 10 July 2018 Yerba Buena Gardens Festival: Pi Clowns Original clown vignettes blending mime, theater, acrobatics, juggling, and improvisation. SFChronicle.com, "Kids listings," 12 July 2018 And then, the hard part: To repeat your partner’s own story back to that person, but using only motions and mime, not words. James Hebert, sandiegouniontribune.com, "For theater community, finding ways to reflect societal diversity onstage is more urgent than ever," 13 July 2018 And then there is the mime for denouncing a fall: two hands thrust forward in a diving motion. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Soccer’s New Favorite Pantomime," 6 July 2018 Daytime, however, only reinforces the status quo of their enslavement — a reality that is given haunting theatrical life through mime. Charles Mcnulty, latimes.com, "At South Coast Rep, glimmers of light in 'Little Black Shadows'," 17 Apr. 2018 People gesture and wave, seem to hold invisible objects, or arrange items or mime doing something like cooking or knitting. Sallie Tisdale, Good Housekeeping, "Everything to Expect, Say, and Do When a Loved One Is About to Die," 13 June 2018 Along with Side Deal, the dance company Academy of Villains — dressed like a group of hip-hop mimes — performed two sets for attendees. Richard Chang, latimes.com, "19th annual Newport Film Festival opens at Edwards Big Newport," 27 Apr. 2018 Elsewhere, an LED Hula Hoop circus-style performer will join a fire eater, stilt walker and mime. Vickie Snow Jurkowski, Daily Southtown, "Music, street performers and gumbo help turn Joliet into New Orleans North," 31 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And in Georgetown, some of the Caps frolicked in a shallow fountain, including a shirtless Ovi who mimed the breaststroke. Erik Brady, USA TODAY, "Are the Washington Capitals the drunkest champions ever?," 11 June 2018 Oh, and who can forget the ski shows, with guys and girls in bathing suits miming to pop songs about romance on the beach. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Sea-Arama in Galveston was an island attraction for decades," 11 July 2018 In My Feelings and doing a dance that mimes the lyrics in the song. Charles Curtis, For The Win, "What's the #InMyFeelingsChallenge Odell Beckham Jr. and Russell Wilson have participated in?," 9 July 2018 Slim Shady mimed Kilmer sitting back in a chair peering across and then looking away after locking eyes with the rapper. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Eminem Has a Very Weird Story about Val Kilmer Seeing Him Naked," 29 May 2018 The only props that are mimed are those murderous meat pies — everything else, from flagons of ale to gleaming razors to assorted bloody body parts are brandished merrily by the sweaty, sooty-faced cast. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Terrence Mann Kills It As 'Sweeney Todd' At CT Rep," 26 June 2018 The concluding Capriccio found the principals waving cheerily at the entourages, forming their own high-spirited quartet, switching partners (the entourages followed suit), and miming square-dance and Russian folk steps. Jeffrey Gantz, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston Ballet shines in ‘Classic Balanchine’," 18 May 2018 Abad rolled a baseball and Hoskins charged, scooped it with his glove and mimed a throw to the infield. Matt Breen, Philly.com, "Rhys Hoskins and the Phillies seek value at the margins," 23 Feb. 2018 Born in Holland in 1929 or 1930, Reynders learned to mime with Marcel Marceau in Paris, France. Janet Eastman, OregonLive.com, "Who will rescue the West Linn dome home from bankruptcy court? An artist, hobbit or developer? (photos)," 20 Mar. 2018

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


1616, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1728, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for mime


Latin mimus, from Greek mimos

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Time Traveler for mime

The first known use of mime was in 1616

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English Language Learners Definition of mime

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a form of entertainment in which a performer plays a character or tells a story without words by using body movements and facial expressions

: a performance done without speaking : a performance using mime

: a performer who uses mime



English Language Learners Definition of mime (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make the movements of someone who is doing (something) without actually doing it


\ˈmīm \

Kids Definition of mime

1 : the art of showing a character or telling a story using body movements and gestures without words

2 : a person who performs mime

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a private place of worship

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