- An example of mince is to cut up a piece of garlic into little bits.
- An example of mince is to carefully choose words; to mince words.
transitive verbminced, minc′ing
- to cut up or chop up (meat, etc.) into very small pieces; hash
- to lessen the force of; weaken, as by euphemism: let's not mince words
Origin of minceMiddle English mincen from Old French mincier from Vulgar Latin an unverified form minutiare from Classical Latin minutus, small: see minute
- to speak or act with affected elegance or daintiness
- to walk with short steps or in an affected, dainty manner
not mince matters
verbminced, minc·ing, minc·es
- a. To cut or chop into very small pieces.b. To subdivide (land, for example) into minute parts.
- To pronounce in an affected way, as with studied elegance and refinement.
- To moderate, restrain, or euphemize (words) for the sake of politeness and decorum: Don't mince words: say what you mean.
- To walk with very short steps or with exaggerated primness.
- To speak in an affected way.
Origin of minceMiddle English mincen from Old French mincier from Vulgar Latin minūtiāre from Latin minūtia smallness ; see minutia .
(countable and uncountable, plural minces)
- (uncountable) Finely chopped meat.
- Mince tastes really good fried in a pan with some chopped onion and tomato.
- (uncountable) Finely chopped mixed fruit used in Christmas pies; mincemeat.
- During Christmas time my dad loves to eat mince pies.
- (countable) An affected (often dainty or short and precise) gait.
- (countable) An affected manner, especially of speaking; an affectation.
(third-person singular simple present minces, present participle mincing, simple past and past participle minced)
- To make less; make small.
- To lessen; diminish; to diminish in speaking; speak of lightly or slightingly; minimise.
- (rare) To effect mincingly.
- (cooking) To cut into very small pieces; to chop fine.
- Butchers often use machines to mince meat.
- To suppress or weaken the force of; to extenuate; to palliate; to tell by degrees, instead of directly and frankly; to clip, as words or expressions; to utter half and keep back half of.
- I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say "” "I love you." "” Shakespeare
- To mince one's words
- a minced oath
- To affect; to pronounce affectedly or with an accent.
- (intransitive) To walk with short steps; to walk in a prim, affected manner.
- (intransitive) To act or talk with affected nicety; to affect delicacy in manner.
- I love going to gay bars and seeing drag queens mince around on stage.
- (archaic) To diminish the force of.
Current usage in the sense of "weaken the force of" is limited to the phrase "mince words"; e.g., "I won't mince words with you".
From Middle English mincen, minsen; partly from Old English minsian (“to make less, make smaller, diminish"), from Proto-Germanic *minnisÅnÄ… (“to make less"); partly from Old French mincer, mincier (“to cut into small pieces"), from mince (“slender, slight, puny"), from Frankish *minsto, *minnisto, superlative of *min, *minn (“small, less"), from Proto-Germanic *minniz (“less"); both from Proto-Indo-European *(e)mey- (“small, little"). Cognate with Old Saxon minsÅn (“to make less, make smaller"), Gothic ðŒ¼ðŒ¹ðŒ½ðŒ¶ðŒ½ðŒ°ðŒ½ (minznan, “to become less, diminish"), Swedish minska (“to reduce, lessen"), Gothic ðŒ¼ðŒ¹ðŒ½ðƒ (mins, “slender, slight"). More at min.