Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A dunghill or refuse heap.
  • noun Archaeology A mound or deposit containing shells, animal bones, and other refuse that indicates the site of a human settlement.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A dunghill; a muck-heap; a receptacle for kitchen refuse, ashes, etc. See midding. [Prov. Eng. and Scotch.] Specifically
  • noun A prehistoric muck-heap; a kitchenmidden.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Prov. Eng. A dunghill.
  • noun An accumulation of refuse about a dwelling place; especially, an accumulation of shells or of cinders, bones, and other refuse on the supposed site of the dwelling places of prehistoric tribes, -- as on the shores of the Baltic Sea and in many other places. See Kitchen middens.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A dungheap.
  • noun A refuse heap usually near a dwelling.
  • noun archaeology prehistoric pile of bones and shells.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun (archeology) a mound of domestic refuse containing shells and animal bones marking the site of a prehistoric settlement
  • noun a heap of dung or refuse

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English midding, of Scandinavian origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From early Scandinavian (early Danish mög-dynge, Norwegian mødding) through Middle English myddyng: muck + dung.

Examples

  • Molecular analysis of a 11,700 year-old rodent midden from the Atacama Desert, Chile.

    Archive 2006-03-01

  • And they're basing it on comparison with things like modern octopuses, which are known to create what are known as midden piles, but there's a bit of an extrapolation.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Imagine a kitchen-midden, that is to say the detritus of ordinary living in different ages, accumulated along the side of some ancient water course, having for its dimensions miles in length, extending hundreds of yards back from the margin of this creek, of tens and tens of thousands of years ago, and having a depth of often many feet along this water course.

    The Story of Ab A Tale of the Time of the Cave Man

  • What you need to learn to look for is what's called a midden heap, which [are] the remains of the octopus's meals.

    ABC News: ABCNews

  • What you need to learn to look for is what's called a midden heap, which [are] the remains of the octopus's meals.

    ABC News: ABCNews

  • The midden is the site of the restored Mansion at Tuckahoe in the Indian RiverSide Park.

    tcpalm.com Stories

  • The midden is the site of the restored Mansion at Tuckahoe in the Indian RiverSide Park.

    tcpalm.com Stories

  • What you need to learn to look for is what's called a midden heap, which [are] the remains of the octopus's meals.

    ABC News: ABCNews

  • The midden is the site of the restored Mansion at Tuckahoe in the Indian RiverSide Park.

    tcpalm.com Stories

  • What you need to learn to look for is what's called a midden heap, which [are] the remains of the octopus's meals.

    ABC News: ABCNews

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • रछान

    June 29, 2007

  • Some Scots use midden as a synonym for a rubbish bin.

    December 2, 2007

  • This is set in Glasgow:

    "Thaw lit the fire, folded back the carpet, swept the floor, carried boxes of rubbish down to the midden, shook mats out of the window and washed the panes." - 'Lanark', Alasdair Gray.

    December 2, 2007

  • Thank you, bilby. My wife has read a lot of Alasdair Gray, including 'Lanark'.

    December 3, 2007

  • Stuck in my mind when I read it ... mental picture of Scotsman creating huge pile of garbage in the back yard!

    December 3, 2007

  • Now our whole task's to hack

    some angel-shape worth wearing

    from his crabbed midden where all's wrought so awry.

    from "Firesong," Sylvia Plath

    April 14, 2008

  • In archaeology the contents of a midden are specific to the area. Coastal middens will have mainly shells with sea mammal and fish bones, where as a midden at a site in the desert will likely consist of very different materials, whatever is available for human consumption and discardation.

    We usually refer to them as "pre-historic garbage heaps"

    June 18, 2008

  • Discardation? Is that like, uhh, rejectment?

    November 7, 2008

  • Citation on keek (in the Scots sense of 'rubbish bin').

    January 19, 2009

  • “In the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet, Mass., the ancient rite of shellfish gathering (witness the antiquated shell middens found on coasts across the globe) is open to anyone who can plunk down $75 for a seasonal non-residential shell license.”

    The New York Times, Shell Shock | Oystering on Cape Cod, by Andy Gensler, August 17, 2010

    August 17, 2010