Definitions

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

  • noun A performance by mummers.
  • noun A pretentious or hypocritical show or ceremony.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Pantomime as enacted by mummers; a show or performance of mummers.
  • noun A ceremony or performance considered false or pretentious; farcical show; hypocritical disguise and paradc: applied in contempt to various religious ceremonies by people who are of other sects or beliefs.

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

  • noun Masking; frolic in disguise; buffoonery.
  • noun Farcical show; hypocritical disguise and parade or ceremonies.

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

  • noun merrymaking; the performance of a mummer
  • noun a ridiculous or ostentatious ceremony, especially of a religious nature
  • noun a showy but empty performance

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

  • noun meaningless ceremonies and flattery

Etymologies

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

[French mommerie, from Old French momer, to wear a mask, pantomime.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French momerie, mommerie.

Examples

  • In fact, the mummery is the chief matter – which is what makes the play so attractive to children, and it may be added, so suitable for their performance.

    The Peace Egg and a Christmas Mumming Play

  • The horse looked about in the thick of the night, as the head of the horse peers out of the cloak, in Welsh mummery, at

    Mary Anerley

  • The horse looked about in the thick of the night, as the head of the horse peers out of the cloak, in Welsh mummery, at Christmas-tide.

    Mary Anerley : a Yorkshire Tale

  • It needed to be left in peace and quiet, not be stirred up to listen to what, in her increasing ire, the nurse termed mummery and flummery.

    The Brentons

  • [332] The same author says elsewhere, "Columella, Cato, Vitruvius, and Pliny, all had their notions of the advantages of cutting timber at certain ages of the moon; a piece of mummery which is still preserved in the royal ordonnances of France to the conservators of the forests, who are directed to fell oaks only 'in the wane of the moon' and 'when the wind is at north.'"

    Moon Lore

  • The "mummery" consisted in slow, gliding motions, in whirlings about intended to be graceful, in slow liftings of the hands upward, and in the beating of the drums.

    Boy Scouts on Motorcycles With the Flying Squadron

  • The bases of morality are sapped in the name of liberty; the discipline of the Church, when not branded as sheer "mummery," is held up as hostile to personal freedom; and her dogmas, with one or two exceptions, are treated as opinions which may be received or rejected with like indifference.

    Public School Education

  • In this "mummery" the most successful spectacle was that presented by a group arranged in obvious ridicule of

    The Rise of the Dutch Republic — Complete (1555-84)

  • In this "mummery" the most successful spectacle was that presented by a group arranged in obvious ridicule of

    The Rise of the Dutch Republic — Complete (1555-66)

  • In this "mummery" the most successful spectacle was that presented by a group arranged in obvious ridicule of Granvelle.

    The Rise of the Dutch Republic — Volume 08: 1563-64

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Across the page the symbols moved in grave morrice, in the mummery of their letters, wearing quaint caps of squares and cubes.

    Joyce, Ulysses, 2

    December 29, 2006

  • As in "Mummery's Day?"

    May 9, 2008

  • =A ridiculous, hypocritical, or pretentious ceremony or performance

    =A performance by mummers

    =Etymology: Middle French momerie, from momer

    =Date: circa 1530

    January 19, 2009

  • bummery - indiscriminate mooning

    plummery - flattery by fruit preserves

    gummery - inane fines for chewing gum

    stummery - meaningless silence

    tummery - bland kickshaw

    slummery - all poverty kinda looks the same

    fe-fi-fo-fummery - a giant serve of mummery

    glummery - I don't need a reason to be depressed

    February 8, 2009

  • "…Delusion convulses the leafless trees with the deepest appreciation of the mummery…" - William Carlos Williams, Imaginations

    March 26, 2010