mince

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.

Definitions of mince
  1. verb
    cut into small pieces
    mince the garlic”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    chop, chop up
    cut into pieces
  2. noun
    food chopped into small bits
    “a mince of mushrooms”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    aliment, alimentation, nourishment, nutriment, nutrition, sustenance, victuals
    a source of materials to nourish the body
  3. verb
    make less severe or harsh
    synonyms: moderate, soften
    see moresee less
    type of:
    alter, change, modify
    cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
  4. verb
    walk daintily
    “She minced down the street”
    see moresee less
    type of:
    walk
    use one's feet to advance; advance by steps
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week