mum·​mery ˈmə-mə-rē How to pronounce mummery (audio)
plural mummeries
: a performance by mummers
: a ridiculous, hypocritical, or pretentious ceremony or performance

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But what was once the norm can now seem a kind of ableist mummery, which this production attempts to sidestep by offering a Richard with no physical impairments at all. New York Times, 11 July 2022 Last week, as Russia prepared to invade Ukraine and Gergiev prepared to lead the Vienna Philharmonic in three concerts at Carnegie Hall, the usual mummery was unfolding. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 3 Mar. 2022 One of the oldest traditions in the United States is begging or the giving tips at the holiday, brought by English settlers and part of the Christmas celebrations associated with mummery and the Lord of Misrule, according to Turino. Steven Goode,, 17 Dec. 2020 Keziah Wallis of Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand says that the rift first appeared in the 19th century, when a new understanding of Buddhism as a rational philosophy free of the mummery of religion began to take hold. The Economist, 14 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mummery.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle French momerie, from momer

First Known Use

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mummery was circa 1530

Dictionary Entries Near mummery

Cite this Entry

“Mummery.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


mum·​mery ˈməm-ə-rē How to pronounce mummery (audio)
plural mummeries
: a performance by mummers
: a ridiculous ceremony

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