multimedia (adj.) Look up multimedia at
also multi-media, 1962, from multi- + media.
multimodal (adj.) Look up multimodal at
1899, from multi- + modal.
multinational (adj.) Look up multinational at
also multi-national, by 1921, from multi- + national. Originally with reference to states; later (by 1960) to corporations and organizations. As a noun, short for multinational corporation, attested by 1971.
multiparous (adj.) Look up multiparous at
"bringing forth many young at a birth," 1640s, from Modern Latin multiparus, from multi- + stem of parere "to bring forth" (from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, procure").
multipartite (adj.) Look up multipartite at
also multi-partite, 1721, from Latin multipartitus "divided into many parts," from multi- (see multi-) + partitus, past participle of partire "to divide" (from pars "a part, piece, a share," from PIE root *pere- (2) "to grant, allot").
multiphase (adj.) Look up multiphase at
also multi-phase, 1890, from multi- + phase (n.).
multiple (adj.) Look up multiple at
1640s, "involving many parts," from French multiple (14c.), from Late Latin multiplus "manifold," from Latin multi- "many, much" (see multi-) + -plus "-fold" (see -plus). The noun is from 1680s, in mathematics, from the adjective. Multiple choice as a type of question attested from 1828. Multiple exposure first recorded 1923.
multiple sclerosis (n.) Look up multiple sclerosis at
first attested 1877; so called because it occurs in patches.
multiplex Look up multiplex at
1550s (adj.), 1560s (n.), in mathematics, from Latin multiplex "having many folds; many times as great in number; of many parts" (see multiply).
multiplicable (adj.) Look up multiplicable at
late 15c., from Latin multiplicabilis "manifold," from multiplicare (see multiply). Alternative multipliable is recorded from 1620s.
multiplicand (n.) Look up multiplicand at
"number to be multiplied by another number," 1590s, from Latin multiplicandus "to be multiplied," gerundive of multiplicare (see multiply).
multiplication (n.) Look up multiplication at
mid-14c., from Old French multiplicacion (12c.) "multiplication, duplication; multiplicity, diversity," from Latin multiplicationem (nominative multiplicatio), noun of action from past participle stem of multiplicare (see multiply). Mathematical sense is attested from late 14c.
multiplicative (adj.) Look up multiplicative at
1650s, from Medieval Latin multiplicativus, from multiplicat-, past participle stem of multiplicare (see multiply).
multiplicity (n.) Look up multiplicity at
mid-15c., from Middle French multiplicité, from Late Latin multiplicitas "manifoldness, multiplicity," from Latin multiplic- (see multiple). Related: Multiplicitous.
multiplier (n.) Look up multiplier at
late 15c., agent noun from multiply.
multiply (v.) Look up multiply at
mid-12c., multeplier, "to cause to become many," from Old French multiplier, mouteplier (12c.) "increase, get bigger; flourish; breed; extend, enrich," from Latin multiplicare "to increase," from multiplex (genitive multiplicis) "having many folds, many times as great in number," from combining form of multus (see multi-) + -plex "-fold," from PIE root *plek- "to plait." Mathematical sense is attested from late 14c. Related: Multiplied; multiplying.
multipolar (adj.) Look up multipolar at
also multi-polar, 1859, from multi- + polar. Related: Multipolarity.
multiprocessor (n.) Look up multiprocessor at
also multi-processor, 1961, from multi- + processor.
multipurpose (adj.) Look up multipurpose at
also multi-purpose, 1935, from multi- + purpose (n.).
multiracial (adj.) Look up multiracial at
also multi-racial, 1923, from multi- + racial.
multistory (adj.) Look up multistory at
also multi-story, multi-storey, 1918, from multi- + story (2).
multitasking (n.) Look up multitasking at
also multi-tasking, 1966, originally in computing, from multi- + tasking (see task). Of humans, by 1998. Related: Multitask (v.). As an adjective, multi-task is recorded from 1954 in a non-computer mechanical context.
multitude (n.) Look up multitude at
early 14c., from Old French multitude (12c.) and directly from Latin multitudinem (nominative multitudo) "a great number, a crowd; the crowd, the common people," from multus "many, much" (see multi-) + suffix -tudo (see -tude). Related: Multitudes.
multitudinous (adj.) Look up multitudinous at
c. 1600, from Latin multitudin-, stem of multitudo (see multitude) + -ous. First in Shakespeare or Dekker, depending on the dating of their publications, though it is certainly "Macbeth" that has fixed it in the language. Related: Multitudinously; multitudinousness.
Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood
Clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather
The multitudinous seas incarnardine,
Making the green one, red.
multivalent (adj.) Look up multivalent at
1874, from multi- + -valent (see valence in the chemistry sense).
multivariate (adj.) Look up multivariate at
1928, from multi- + -variate, from Latin variatio (see variation).
multiverse (n.) Look up multiverse at
1895, William James's coinage, an alternative to universe meant to convey absence of order and unity.
But those times are past; and we of the nineteenth century, with our evolutionary theories and our mechanical philosophies, already know nature too impartially and too well to worship unreservedly any god of whose character she can be an adequate expression. Truly all we know of good and beauty proceeds from nature, but none the less so all we know of evil. Visible nature is all plasticity and indifference, a moral multiverse, as one might call it, and not a moral universe. [William James, "Is Life Worth Living?" address to the Young Men's Christian Association of Harvard University, May 1895]
mum (interj.) Look up mum at
"be silent," 1560s, from Middle English mum, mom (late 14c.), inarticulate closed-mouth sound, indicative of unwillingness or inability to speak. As an adjective meaning "secret" from 1520s. Phrase mum's the word is first recorded 1704.
mum (n.1) Look up mum at
abbreviation of chrysanthemum, first attested 1915 in the jargon of gardeners.
mum (n.2) Look up mum at
pet word for "mother," 1823, short for mummy (see mamma). In British sociology, used from 1957 in reference to "the working class mother as an influence in the lives of her children." Also sometimes a vulgar corruption of madam.
mumble (n.) Look up mumble at
1902, from mumble (v.).
mumble (v.) Look up mumble at
early 14c., momelen, "to eat in a slow, ineffective manner" (perhaps "to talk with one's mouth full"), probably frequentative of interjection mum. The -b- is unetymological. Meaning "to speak indistinctly" is from mid-14c. Related: Mumbled; mumbling.
mumblety-peg (n.) Look up mumblety-peg at
boys' knife-throwing game, 1650s, originally mumble-the-peg (1620s), of unknown signification and origin.
mumbo jumbo (n.) Look up mumbo jumbo at
1738, name of an idol supposedly worshipped by certain tribes in Africa; said to be a corruption of words in Mandingo (one reconstructed version is Mama Dyumbo), but no likely source has been found in the languages of the Niger region, to which the original accounts relate. Meaning "big, empty talk" is attested from 1896.
mummer (n.) Look up mummer at
"one who performs in a mumming, actor in a dumb show," early 15c., probably a fusion of Middle French momeur "mummer" (from Old French momer "mask oneself," from momon "mask") and Middle English mommen "to mutter, be silent," related to mum (interjection).
mummery (n.) Look up mummery at
1520s, "performance of mumming," from Old French mommerie, from momer (see mummer). Transferred sense of "ridiculous ceremony or ritual" is from 1540s.
mummification (n.) Look up mummification at
1800, from mummy + -fication "a making or causing."
mummify (v.) Look up mummify at
1620s, from French momifier, from momie "mummy," from Medieval Latin mumia (see mummy) + -fier "to make into" (see -fy). Related: Mummified; mummifying.
mummy (n.2) Look up mummy at
1784, childish alteration of mammy. Alternative form mumsy attested by 1876.
mummy (n.1) Look up mummy at
c. 1400, "medicine prepared from mummy tissue," from Medieval Latin mumia, from Arabic mumiyah "embalmed body," from Persian mumiya "asphalt," from mum "wax." Sense of "embalmed body" first recorded in English 1610s. Mummy wheat (1842) was said to be cultivated from grains found in mummy-cases.
mumps (n.) Look up mumps at
type of contagious disease, c. 1600, from plural of mump "a grimace" (1590s), originally a verb, "to whine like a beggar" (1580s), from Dutch mompen "to cheat, deceive," originally probably "to mumble, whine," of imitative origin. The infectious disease probably so called in reference to swelling of the salivary glands of the face and/or to painful difficulty swallowing. Mumps also was used from 17c. to mean "a fit of melancholy."
mun (v.) Look up mun at
auxiliary verb, now archaic or dialectal, "must," c. 1200, from Old Norse monu, a future tense auxiliary verb ultimately meaning "to intend" and from the PIE root *men- (1) "to think."
munch (v.) Look up munch at
late 14c., mocchen, imitative (compare crunch), or perhaps from Old French mangier "to eat, bite," from Latin manducare "to chew." Related: Munched; munching.
Munchausen Look up Munchausen at
in reference to unbelievable stories (1850) is in reference to Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus von Münchhausen (1720-1797), German adventurer who served in the Russian army against the Turks; wildly exaggerated exploits attributed to him are told in the 1785 English book "Baron Munchausen, Narrative of his Marvellous Travels," written by Rudolph Erich Raspe (1734-1794). As a syndrome involving feigned dramatic illness, it is attested from 1951.
munchies (n.) Look up munchies at
"food or snack," 1959, plural of munchie (1917), from munch (v.); sense of "craving for food after smoking marijuana" is first attested 1971.
Munchkin (n.) Look up Munchkin at
1900, coined by U.S. author L. Frank Baum (1856-1919) in "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz." He never explained how he got the word. The word most like it is perhaps mutchkin, an old Scottish measure of capacity for liquids, which was used by Scott. (It comes from Middle Dutch mutseken, originally "a little cap," from mutse "cap," earlier almutse "amice, hood, headdress," from Latin amictus "mantle, cloak," noun use of past participle of amicire "to wrap, throw around," a compound from ambi- "around" (see ambi-) + iacere (see jet (v.).)
mundane (adj.) Look up mundane at
mid-15c., "of this world," from Old French mondain "of this world, worldly, earthly, secular;" also "pure, clean; noble, generous" (12c.), from Late Latin mundanus "belonging to the world" (as distinct from the Church), in classical Latin "a citizen of the world, cosmopolite," from mundus "universe, world," literally "clean, elegant"; used as a translation of Greek kosmos (see cosmos) in its Pythagorean sense of "the physical universe" (the original sense of the Greek word was "orderly arrangement").

Latin mundus also was used of a woman's "ornaments, dress," and is related to the adjective mundus "clean, elegant" (used of women's dress, etc.). Extended sense of "dull, uninteresting" is by 1850. Related: Mundanely. The mundane era was the chronology that began with the supposed epoch of the Creation (famously reckoned as 4004 B.C.E.).
mundanity (n.) Look up mundanity at
c. 1500, from Middle French mondanité or directly from Medieval Latin mundanitatem (nominative mundanitas), from Late Latin mundanus "belonging to the world" (see mundane).
mundungus (n.) Look up mundungus at
"tobacco with an offensive odor," 1640s, from Spanish mondongo "paunch, tripe, intestines," related to modejo "paunch, belly (of a pig)."
Munich Look up Munich at
Bavarian capital, German München, from root of Mönch "monk" (see monk); founded 1158 as a market town by Benedictine monks. In allusions to "appeasement" it is from the meeting of German, British, French and Italian representatives there in Sept. 29, 1938, which resulted in the cession of Sudetenland to Germany in exchange for Hitler's pledges.
During the flight [from Munich] Daladier sat silent and morose, worried about the reception he would receive at Le Bourget, about how the French would react to his having betrayed Czechoslovakia and France's promises. As the plane circled for landing, he and others saw a massive crowd awaiting them. Expecting jeers, hisses, rotten fruit, and maybe worse, Daladier declared stolidly: 'They are going to mob me, I suppose. ... I appreciate their feelings,' and insisted on absorbing their wrath by being the first off the plane. But as he stood dumbfounded on the gangplank, thousands surged forward carrying flags and flowers, shouting 'Hurrah for France! Hurrah for England! Hurrah for peace!' Daladier turned back to Léger and cursed, 'The God-damned fools!' [Benjamin F. Martin, "France in 1938"]