\ ˈməg \

Definition of mug 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a cylindrical drinking cup

2a : the face or mouth of a person

b : grimace

c : mug shot

3a chiefly British

(1) : fool, blockhead

(2) : a person easily deceived

b : punk, thug


verb (1)
mugged; mugging

Definition of mug (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to pose or make faces especially to attract attention or for a camera


verb (2)
mugged; mugging

Definition of mug (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to assault usually with intent to rob

2 : to attack suddenly got mugged in the press by his colleagues

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Other words from mug


mugful noun

Verb (2)

muggee \ˌmə-ˈgē \ noun

Synonyms for mug

Synonyms: Noun

face, frown, grimace, lower (also lour), mouth, pout, scowl

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Examples of mug in a Sentence


a collection of coffee mugs He drank a mug of coffee. They're taking you for a mug.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The capsule consists of mugs, plates, swim shorts, a Hawaiian shirt, and a T-shirt, all adorned with Hall’s whimsical drawings. Anny Choi, Vogue, "Le Sirenuse Positano and Artist Luke Edward Hall Team Up on a Call Me by Your Name–Inspired Tableware Collection," 12 June 2018 Place another rimmed baking sheet on top, then push down firmly to smash potatoes (alternately, use the bottom of a mug or measuring cup to smash each one individually). Molly Baz, Bon Appetit, "Crispy Smashed Potatoes with Walnut Dressing," 21 May 2018 Rows of these individual-sized mugs are stacked below the pours for patrons to grab and go. Lee A. Litas,, "Owner of shuttered Nevin's opens new bar in Evanston featuring self-pour beer," 20 May 2018 Cut each square of puff pastry into a circle a little larger than the top of each mug (or bowl). Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Chicken pot pie from The Farmer's Wife patterned after mom's," 26 Feb. 2018 These 17 recipes adapt classics like muffins, cinnamon rolls, egg scrambles, and even French toast into small-batch versions that serve one, can be cooked inside of a mug, and will be done after just a few minutes in the microwave. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "17 Healthy Breakfasts You Can Make in a Mug," 6 Jan. 2018 So use a quirky Tiki mug for that tropical drink or a delicate coupe glass for a pretty, light mocktail. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Mocktail recipes: How to make tasty non-alcoholic drinks for your Fourth of July party," 3 July 2018 Something about this place lets visitors shed insecurities and mug for a picture in a way that shows their connection not only to the city, but also to one another. Sam Hodgson, New York Times, "The Cobblestone Runway," 22 June 2018 Bexar County Sheriff's Office deputy Jose Nunez is seen in a June 17, 2018 booking mug provided by the Bear County Sheriff's office. Jacob Beltran, San Antonio Express-News, "Bexar deputy accused of sexual assaulting 4-year-old, blackmailing undocumented immigrant," 17 June 2018

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


1664, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1855, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Verb (2)

circa 1864, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mug


origin unknown

Verb (2)

probably from earlier mug to strike in the face, perhaps from mug entry 1

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Learn More about mug

Dictionary Entries near mug





mug's game



Phrases Related to mug

a mug's game

Statistics for mug

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mug

The first known use of mug was in 1664

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More Definitions for mug



English Language Learners Definition of mug

: a large drinking cup with a handle

: the liquid that is contained in a mug

: the face or mouth of a person


\ ˈməg \

Kids Definition of mug

: a large drinking cup with a handle

mugged; mugging

Legal Definition of mug 

: to assault (an individual) usually with intent to rob

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Comments on mug

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


occurring twice a year or every two years

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