Share this entry

Share this page

mutton

Syllabification: mut·ton
Pronunciation: /ˈmətn
 
/

Definition of mutton in English:

noun

The flesh of sheep, especially mature sheep, used as food: roast mutton
More example sentences
  • Beef, mutton, pork and venison were common meats, and communities close to the coast could expect to widen their diets with fish and shellfish.
  • The dinner would consist of roast beef, roast mutton, roast pork, and vegetables, plum puddings, Christmas cake, and tea, and would be served to about 1,200 poor people.
  • The document reveals that the bishop's menu would have included a range of meats, from mutton and beef to veal, geese, rabbit, duck and lamb.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French moton, from medieval Latin multo(n-), probably of Celtic origin; compare with Scottish Gaelic mult, Welsh mollt, and Breton maout.

More
  • A word that came from French but which is probably Celtic in origin and related to Scottish Gaelic mult and Welsh mollt. Mutton is technically the meat of sheep more than a year old The insult mutton dressed as lamb describes an older person dressed in a style suitable for somebody much younger. There is a long tradition of using mutton of women in a derogatory way. It was used as a slang term for prostitutes from the early 16th century, and the phrase to hawk your mutton meant ‘to flaunt your sexual attractiveness’ or, of a prostitute, ‘to solicit for clients’. Muttonhead was used as a term for a stupid person of either sex from the beginning of the 19th century, and this is probably the source of mutt (late 19th century) for both a stupid person and a dog. See also beef

Derivatives

muttony

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Surrounded as it is by cool temperatures, the tail can be home to a substantial slab of fat with a texture somewhat like bacon, though of course with a muttony aroma.
  • Lamb karahi was cubes of lean almost muttony meat, tender but not invalid food soft, smothered in a rich red sauce.
  • The taste of fish has been left behind in the stock, leaving an intense, dry muttony meat thronged with fugitive flavours that escape identification.

Words that rhyme with mutton

button, glutton, Hutton

Definition of mutton in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure