Definition of mickle in English:


Line breaks: mickle
Pronunciation: /ˈmɪk(ə)l
(also muckle) archaic or Scottish & Northern English


A large amount.
More example sentences
  • It didn't fare so well with the question ‘How many mickle in a muckle?’


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Very large: she had a great big elephant ... that’s one of those mickle beasts from Africa
More example sentences
  • Do you know there's this old church in Aberdeen that's now a great muckle warren o' a pub that can hold 1,500 folk?
  • ‘When they cast the colours at the end of the Selkirk common riding a great, muckle lump comes into my throat, even though I ken it's a load o' rubbish.’
  • She was there to make Maggie look sexy and with her builder's hands and big muckle face, I do wonder if she wasn't post-operative transsexual.

determiner& pronoun

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Much; a large amount.


Old English micel 'great, numerous, much', of Germanic origin; from an Indo-European root shared by Greek megas, megal-.


The original proverb many a little makes a mickle was misquoted (and first recorded in the writing of George Washington, 1793) as many a mickle makes a muckle. While mickle and muckle are, by origin, merely variants of the same (now dialect) word meaning ‘a large amount’, the misquotation spawned a misunderstanding that has now become widespread: that mickle means ‘a small amount’, and muckle means the opposite, ‘a large amount’.


many a little makes a mickle

(also many a mickle makes a muckle)
proverb Many small amounts accumulate to make a large amount.
More example sentences
  • Remember, many a little makes a mickle; and farther, beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship.
  • After you award it to your kids, they will collect little by little even one penny and put it in this cute Jar, after a while, many a little makes a mickle, they will be very surprised to ask you: ‘Mom, my piggy jar is going to full, may I take them out and fill him again?’
  • Thorough instruction in all military details is best, and there is an old saying that ‘many a mickle makes a muckle.’

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