To mince is to chop into tiny bits. Your favorite soup recipe might include directions to mince four cloves of garlic.

When you dice an onion into very small pieces, you mince it, and when you grind meat very fine to make sausage or mincemeat, you also mince. Another meaning of the verb is to soften, or to express something in a gentle way: "She doesn't mince her words." This word can also mean to walk in a dainty manner, like the way your 7-year-old niece might mince across the floor while pretending to be a fancy princess. The Old French root, mincier, means "make into small pieces," and it comes from the Latin word for "small," minutus.

Primary Meanings of mince

cut into small pieces
food chopped into small bits
make less severe or harsh
walk daintily
Full Definitions of mince

v cut into small pieces

mince the garlic”
Type of:
chop, chop up
cut into pieces

n food chopped into small bits

“a mince of mushrooms”
Type of:
aliment, alimentation, nourishment, nutriment, nutrition, sustenance, victuals
a source of materials to nourish the body

v make less severe or harsh

moderate, soften
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation

v walk daintily

“She minced down the street”
Type of:
use one's feet to advance; advance by steps

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