\ ˈməm How to pronounce mum (audio) \

Definition of mum

 (Entry 1 of 5)

: silent keep mum


mummed; mumming

Definition of mum (Entry 2 of 5)

intransitive verb

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

Definition of mum (Entry 3 of 5)

: a strong ale or beer


Definition of mum (Entry 4 of 5)

chiefly British spelling of



Definition of mum (Entry 5 of 5)

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for mum

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

First Known Use of mum


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

History and Etymology for mum


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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mum

Time Traveler for mum

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for mum

Cite this Entry

“Mum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mum. Accessed 12 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mum

How to pronounce mum (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mum

informal : not talking about something
\ ˈməm How to pronounce mum (audio) \

Kids Definition of mum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: silent sense 4 Keep mum about the surprise party.


Kids Definition of mum (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British variant of mom

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mum

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mum

Spanish Central: Translation of mum

Nglish: Translation of mum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mum

Comments on mum

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!