\ ˈməg How to pronounce mug (audio) \

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 \ ˈməg-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce mugful (audio) \ noun

Verb (2)

muggee \ ˌmə-​ˈgē How to pronounce muggee (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for mug

Synonyms: Noun


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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

For about four years, internal records show, the department has used the technology to compare crime scene images with its collection of juvenile mug shots, the photos that are taken at an arrest. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Why we like fake stuff on Facebook," 2 Aug. 2019 While most of the items are under embargo, said apothecary table is on sale for $1,099, as Vox reports; a pillow and a series of mugs will also be available to buy. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "You Can Now Drink Central Perk Coffee to Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of 'Friends'," 23 July 2019 Hydro Flask makes some of the best insulated water bottles around (and some of the best travel mugs). Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Need Outdoors Gear? 13 Deals From the REI 4th of July Sale," 3 July 2019 The basement tasting room features scores of mugs hanging from hooks on the walls. Roshni Bajaj Sanghvi, National Geographic, "Have a beer at one of Europe's highest breweries," 19 June 2019 The biggest culprits in kitchens are too many plastic storage containers and water bottles, as well as an overabundance of mugs and glassware. Nicole Anzia, Washington Post, "The top clutter culprits in every room — and how to deal with them," 4 June 2019 Take the bottom of a mug and smash the hell out them. Alex Delany, Bon Appetit, "This 5-Minute Olive Sauce Belongs on Whatever You're Making for Dinner Tonight," 10 Jan. 2018 Celebrate Doctor Who fandom with Doctor Who themed food and the following events: Make your own sharpie mug and perler bead magnet from 2 to 3 p.m., do trivia with prizes from 3 to 4 p.m., and photo opportunities with a Dalek., "Community News For The Manchester Edition," 10 July 2019 Our Favorite ThinkGeek Deals ThinkGeek stuff is going fast—our favorite Mario mug and Question Block Lamp are already out of stock. Wired Staff, WIRED, "ThinkGeek Items Are 75% Off, and Google Speakers Are on Sale," 29 June 2019

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



Statistics for mug

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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
slang : the face or mouth of a person


\ ˈməg How to pronounce mug (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on mug

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mug

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mug

Spanish Central: Translation of mug

Nglish: Translation of mug for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mug for Arabic Speakers

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).


readily or continually undergoing change

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