mundungus (n.) Look up mundungus at Dictionary.com
"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 Dictionary.com
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 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"]
municipal (adj.) Look up municipal at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Middle French municipal, from Latin municipalis "of a citizen of a free town, of a free town," also "of a petty town, provincial," from municipium "free town, city whose citizens have the privileges of Roman citizens but are governed by their own laws," from municeps "citizen, inhabitant of a free town." Second element is root of capere "assume, take" (see capable). First element is from munus (plural munia) "service performed for the community, duty, work," also "public spectacle paid for by the magistrate, (gladiatorial) entertainment, gift," from Old Latin moenus "service, duty, burden," from PIE *moi-n-es-, generally taken as a suffixed form of root *mei- (1) "to change, go, move" (Watkins; see mutable); but Tucker says "more probably" from the other PIE root *mei- meaning "bind," so that munia = "obligations" and communis = "bound together."
municipality (n.) Look up municipality at Dictionary.com
1789, from French municipalité, from municipal (see municipal).
munificence (n.) Look up munificence at Dictionary.com
early 15c., from Middle French munificence, from Latin munificentia "bountifulness, liberality, generosity," from stem of munificus "generous, bountiful, liberal," literally "present-making," from munus "gift or service, duty, office" (see municipal) + unstressed stem of facere "to do" (see factitious).
munificent (adj.) Look up munificent at Dictionary.com
1580s, back-formation from munificence, or else from Latin munificent-, stem of munificus "bountiful, liberal, generous" (see munificence).
munition (n.) Look up munition at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Middle French municion "fortification, defense, defensive wall" (14c.), from Latin munitionem (nominative munitio) "a defending, fortification, protecting," noun of action from past participle stem of munire "to fortify," from moenia "defensive walls," related to murus "wall" (see mural). By 1530s the sense had passed through "military stores" to become "ammunition."
Munsell Look up Munsell at Dictionary.com
system of color classification, 1905, named for U.S. painter and professor Albert H. Munsell (1858-1918), who developed it.
Munster Look up Munster at Dictionary.com
type of cheese; see Muenster.
Muppet (n.) Look up Muppet at Dictionary.com
Trademark (U.S.) Sept. 26, 1972, claiming use from 1971, but in print from Sept. 1970. Name coined by creator Jim Henson (1936-1990), who said, despite the resemblance to marionette and puppet (they have qualities of both), it has no etymology; he just liked the sound.
mural (n.) Look up mural at Dictionary.com
painting on a wall, 1921, short for mural painting (1850), from mural (adj.) "pertaining to walls" (mid-15c.), from Latin muralis "of a wall," from murus "wall" (Old Latin moiros, moerus), from PIE *mei- "to fix; to build fences or fortifications" (cognates: Old English mære "boundary, border, landmark;" Old Norse -mæri "boundary, border-land;" Latin munire "to fortify, protect").
murder (n.) Look up murder at Dictionary.com
c.1300, murdre, from Old English morðor (plural morþras) "secret killing of a person, unlawful killing," also "mortal sin, crime; punishment, torment, misery," from Proto-Germanic *murthra- (cognates: Goth maurþr, and, from a variant form of the same root, Old Saxon morth, Old Frisian morth, Old Norse morð, Middle Dutch moort, Dutch moord, German Mord "murder"), from PIE *mrtro-, from root *mer- "to die" (see mortal (adj.)). The spelling with -d- probably reflects influence of Anglo-French murdre, from Old French mordre, from Medieval Latin murdrum, from the Germanic root.

Viking custom, typical of Germanic, distinguished morð (Old Norse) "secret slaughter," from vig (Old Norse) "slaying." The former involved concealment, or slaying a man by night or when asleep, and was a heinous crime. The latter was not a disgrace, if the killer acknowledged his deed, but he was subject to vengeance or demand for compensation.
Mordre wol out that se we day by day. [Chaucer, "Nun's Priest's Tale," c.1386]
Weakened sense of "very unpleasant situation" is from 1878.
murder (v.) Look up murder at Dictionary.com
Old English myrðrian, from Proto-Germanic *murthjan (cognates: Old High German murdran, German mördren, Gothic maurþjan; see murder (n.)). Related: Murdered; murdering.
murderer (n.) Look up murderer at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., alteration of murtherer (c.1300), agent noun from murder (v.); in part from Old French mordrere, from Medieval Latin murdrarius, from Germanic. Old English words for this included morðorcwalu, morðorslaga, morðorwyrhta, literally "murder-wright." The original murderer's row was in New York City's Tombs prison; figurative use in baseball dates to 1858, though the quintessential one was the 1927 New York Yankees. Fem. form murderess attested from late 14c. Murderee (1920) never caught on.
murderous (adj.) Look up murderous at Dictionary.com
1530s, a hybrid from murder + -ous. An Old English word for it was morðorhycgende. Related: Murderously; murderousness.
murex (n.) Look up murex at Dictionary.com
kind of shellfish which yields a purple dye, 1580s, from Latin murex (plural murices) "purple fish, purple dye," probably cognate with Greek myax "sea mussel," of unknown origin, perhaps related to mys "mouse" (see muscle (n.) and mussel).
Muriel Look up Muriel at Dictionary.com
fem. proper name, probably Celtic and meaning literally "sea bright;" compare Welsh Meriel, Meryl, Irish Muirgheal, earlier Muirgel, from muir "sea" (see mere (n.)) + geal "bright."
murine (adj.) Look up murine at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from Latin murinus, from mus "mouse" (see mouse (n.)).
murk (n) Look up murk at Dictionary.com
c.1300, myrke, from Old Norse myrkr "darkness," from Proto-Germanic *merkwjo- (cognates: Old English mirce "murky, black, dark; murkiness, darkness," Danish mǿrk "darkness," Old Saxon mirki "dark"); cognate with Old Church Slavonic mraku, Serbo-Croatian mrak, Russian mrak "darkness;" Lithuanian merkti "shut the eyes, blink," from PIE *mer- "to flicker" (see morn). Murk Monday was long the name in Scotland for the great solar eclipse of March 29, 1652 (April 8, New Style).
murky (adj.) Look up murky at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from murk + -y (2). Rare before 17c. Related: Murkily; murkiness.
murmur (n.) Look up murmur at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "expression of discontent by grumbling," from Old French murmure "murmur, sound of human voices; trouble, argument" (12c.), noun of action from murmurer "to murmur," from Latin murmurare "to murmur, mutter," from murmur (n.) "a hum, muttering, rushing," probably from a PIE reduplicative base *mor-mor, of imitative origin (cognates: Sanskrit murmurah "crackling fire," Greek mormyrein "to roar, boil," Lithuanian murmlenti "to murmur"). Meaning "softly spoken words" is from 1670s.
murmur (v.) Look up murmur at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Old French murmurer "murmur, grouse, grumble" (12c.), from murmur "rumbling noise" (see murmur (n.)). Related: Murmured; murmuring.
murmuring (n.) Look up murmuring at Dictionary.com
late 14c., verbal noun from murmur (v.).
Murphy Look up Murphy at Dictionary.com
Gaelic Murchadh "sea-warrior." The Celtic "sea" element is also in names Muriel (q.v.), Murdoch (Old Irish Muireadhach, Old Welsh Mordoc "mariner"), etc. Murphy bed (1925) is named for U.S. inventor William Lawrence Murphy (1876-1959). By happy coincidence, Murphy was an illiterate 18c.-19c. perversion of Morpheus, god of sleep.
Murphy's law Look up Murphy's law at Dictionary.com
1958, used of various pessimistic aphorisms. If there ever was a real Murphy his identity is lost to history. Said to be military originally, and probably pre-dates the earliest printed example (the 1958 citation calls it "an old military maxim").
murrain (n.) Look up murrain at Dictionary.com
"cattle plague," early 14c., from Anglo-French moryn, Old French moraine "pestilence" (12c.), probably from mourir "to die," from Latin mori (see mortal (adj.)).
muscat (n.) Look up muscat at Dictionary.com
type of wine, 1570s, from French, from Italian moscato, literally "musky-flavored," from Vulgar Latin *muscatus, from Latin muscus (see musk).
Muscat Look up Muscat at Dictionary.com
capital of Oman, from Arabic Masqat, said to mean "hidden" (it is isolated from the interior by hills).
muscatel (n.) Look up muscatel at Dictionary.com
1530s, variant of muskadell (c.1400), from Old French muscadel, from Old Provençal *muscadel, diminutive of muscat "(grape) with the fragrance of musk" (see muscat).
muscle (n.) Look up muscle at Dictionary.com
late 14c., from Middle French muscle "muscle, sinew" (14c.) and directly from Latin musculus "a muscle," literally "little mouse," diminutive of mus "mouse" (see mouse (n.)).

So called because the shape and movement of some muscles (notably biceps) were thought to resemble mice. The analogy was made in Greek, too, where mys is both "mouse" and "muscle," and its comb. form gives the medical prefix myo-. Compare also Old Church Slavonic mysi "mouse," mysica "arm;" German Maus "mouse; muscle," Arabic 'adalah "muscle," 'adal "field mouse." In Middle English, lacerte, from the Latin word for "lizard," also was used as a word for a muscle.
Musclez & lacertez bene one selfe þing, Bot þe muscle is said to þe fourme of mouse & lacert to þe fourme of a lizard. [Guy de Chauliac, "Grande Chirurgie," c.1425]
Hence muscular and mousy are relatives, and a Middle English word for "muscular" was lacertous, "lizardy." Figurative sense of "force, violence, threat of violence" is 1930, American English. Muscle car "hot rod" is from 1969.
muscle (v.) Look up muscle at Dictionary.com
1913, "to accomplish by strength," from muscle (n.). Related: Muscled; muscling. To muscle in is 1929 in underworld slang.
muscle-bound (adj.) Look up muscle-bound at Dictionary.com
1879, from muscle (n.) + bound, past participle of bind (v.).
muscle-man (n.) Look up muscle-man at Dictionary.com
1929, originally "an underworld enforcer;" sense of "strong man" first attested 1952; from muscle (n.) + man (n.).
muscled (adj.) Look up muscled at Dictionary.com
"having muscles (of a particular type)," 1640s, from muscle (n.).
Muscovy Look up Muscovy at Dictionary.com
from French Moscovie, from Modern Latin Moscovia, old name of Russia, from Russian Moskova "(Principality of) Moscow." In Muscovy duck (1650s) and certain other uses it is a corruption of musk. Related: Muscovite.
muscular (adj.) Look up muscular at Dictionary.com
1680s, "pertaining to muscles," from Latin musculus (see muscle (n.)) + -ar. Earlier in same sense was musculous (early 15c.). Meaning "having well-developed muscles" is from 1736. Muscular Christianity (1857) is originally in reference to philosophy of Anglican clergyman and novelist Charles Kingsley (1819-1875). Muscular dystrophy attested from 1886.
muscularity (n.) Look up muscularity at Dictionary.com
1680s, from Modern Latin muscularis (from Latin musculus; see muscle (n.)) + -ity.
musculature (n.) Look up musculature at Dictionary.com
"system of muscles," 1875, from French musculature, from Latin musculus (see muscle (n.)).
musculo- Look up musculo- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "involving or pertaining to muscles," from comb. form of Latin musculus "muscle" (see muscle (n.)).
musculoskeletal (adj.) Look up musculoskeletal at Dictionary.com
1944, from musculo- + skeletal.
muse (v.) Look up muse at Dictionary.com
"to reflect, to be absorbed in thought," mid-14c., from Old French muser (12c.) "to ponder, dream, wonder; loiter, waste time," literally "to stand with one's nose in the air" (or, possibly, "to sniff about" like a dog who has lost the scent), from muse "muzzle," from Gallo-Roman *musa "snout," of unknown origin. Probably influenced in sense by muse (n.). Related: Mused; musing.
muse (n.) Look up muse at Dictionary.com
late 14c., protectors of the arts, from Old French Muse and directly from Latin Musa, from Greek Mousa, "the Muse," also "music, song," from PIE root *men- "to think, remember" (see mind (n.)). Meaning "inspiring goddess of a particular poet" is from late 14c. The traditional names and specialties of the nine Muses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, are: Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (love poetry, lyric art), Euterpe (music, especially flute), Melpomene (tragedy), Polymnia (hymns), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedy), Urania (astronomy).
musette (n.) Look up musette at Dictionary.com
"small bagpipe," late 14c., from Old French musette "bagpipe" (13c.), from muser "to play the bagpipe, make music," from mus "mouth, muzzle," from Medieval Latin musum (see muzzle (n.)). As "a composition for a musette" from 1811, from French.
museum (n.) Look up museum at Dictionary.com
1610s, "the university building in Alexandria," from Latin museum "library, study," from Greek mouseion "place of study, library or museum, school of art or poetry," originally "a seat or shrine of the Muses," from Mousa "Muse" (see muse (n.)). Earliest use in reference to English institutions was of libraries (such as the British Museum); sense of "building to display objects" first recorded 1680s.
mush (n.) Look up mush at Dictionary.com
"kind of porridge," 1670s, in the American colonies, variant of mash (n.) "soft mixture." Meaning "anything soft and thick" is attested from 1824.
mush (interj.) Look up mush at Dictionary.com
command to sled dogs, first recorded 1862, as mouche, perhaps altered from French marchons! "advance!" (imperative of marcher "to march;" see march (v.)).
mush (v.) Look up mush at Dictionary.com
"to pound to a pulp," 1781, from mush (n.). Related: Mushed; mushing.
mushiness (n.) Look up mushiness at Dictionary.com
1890, from mushy + -ness. Figurative sense of "sentimentality" attested from 1946.
mushroom (n.) Look up mushroom at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., muscheron, musseroun (attested 1327 as a surname, John Mussheron), from Anglo-French musherun, Old French meisseron (11c., Modern French mousseron), perhaps from Late Latin mussirionem (nominative mussirio), though this might as well be borrowed from French. Barnhart says "of uncertain origin." Klein calls it "a word of pre-Latin origin, used in the North of France;" OED says it usually is held to be a derivative of French mousse "moss" (from Germanic), and Weekley agrees, saying it is properly "applied to variety which grows in moss," but Klein says they have "nothing in common." For the final -m Weekley refers to grogram, vellum, venom. Modern spelling is from 1560s.

Used figuratively for something or someone that makes a sudden appearance in full form from 1590s. In reference to the shape of clouds after explosions, etc., it is attested from 1916, though the actual phrase mushroom cloud does not appear until 1955.
mushroom (v.) Look up mushroom at Dictionary.com
"expand or increase rapidly," 1741, from mushroom (n.). Related: Mushroomed; mushrooming.