1 of 5


: silent
keep mum


2 of 5


mummed; mumming

intransitive verb

: to perform in a pantomime
: to go about merrymaking in disguise during festivals


3 of 5

noun (1)

: a strong ale or beer


4 of 5

chiefly British spelling of mom


5 of 5


Examples of mum in a Sentence

Adjective I'd like to know how much they paid, but they've been mum on that subject. kept mum about the surprise bridal shower
Recent Examples on the Web
The Pentagon wants everyone to know the X-37B spaceplane exists, but military officials are mum about the details of the vehicle's missions. Stephen Clark, Ars Technica, 10 Nov. 2023 No word on Williams Stevens was similarly mum on Grant Williams’s status as a restricted free agent. Adam Himmelsbach,, 1 June 2023 Cincinnati’s front office has been completely mum about the negotiations as part of an agreement with Burrow’s camp to keep the details secret. Mohammad Ahmad, cleveland, 26 July 2023 Lawmakers so far have been mum about any legislative fixes. Globe Staff,, 27 May 2023 Ed Sheeran, who is relatively mum about his private life, is going behind-the-music in his new Disney+ docuseries, touching on subjects like grief, mental health, love and loss. Mesfin Fekadu, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 May 2023 DeSantis has been uncharacteristically mum about the situation. Maggie Angst, Anchorage Daily News, 6 June 2023 Since then, the Blazers have been largely mum on Payton’s situation other than coach Chauncey Billups stating that numerous times that Payton was dealing with core soreness following workouts. oregonlive, 22 Dec. 2022 City officials confirmed a new clinic was set to open this year but wouldn’t say where, and some clinic operators stayed publicly mum about their plans. Chris Kenning, USA Today, 4 June 2023
Steven Miller separated children from their immigrant parents, yet the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt was mum! Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 Lucid is still mum on many tech details, but executives said the Gravity would hew closely to the Air’s power-train choices and specifications, which currently include Grand Touring, Touring, and Pure models. IEEE Spectrum, 18 Nov. 2023 Women’s humanitarian organizations have been mum on Hamas’s extreme violence against Israel’s innocents, as the terrorist group rapes, abducts, and murders Jewish women and children. Haley Strack, National Review, 24 Oct. 2023 In North Texas, seemingly no one keeps mum about the fall phenomenon. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 6 Oct. 2023 The illness that your poor mum died from is called Hellp. Hazlitt, 8 Nov. 2023 While speaking to the media in Frankfurt, Germany, ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs' upcoming game against the Miami Dolphins, the NFL star, 34, stayed mum when asked if Swift, 33, would be in attendance. Ingrid Vasquez, Peoplemag, 4 Nov. 2023 Historically, both have kept mum on the topic, save for criticizing the other. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 3 Nov. 2023 And Apple is famous for keeping mum about its future product plans. Rachyl Jones, Fortune, 3 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English mom, momme, probably imitative of a sound made with closed lips


Middle English mommen, to mumble, perform (a mummer's play), probably in part from mom, in part from Middle French momer to go masked

Noun (1)

German Mumme

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

circa 1623, in the meaning defined above


1891, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of mum was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near mum

Cite this Entry

“Mum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 adjective
: silent sense 1
keep mum


2 of 3 noun


3 of 3

chiefly British variant of mom

More from Merriam-Webster on mum

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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