Definition of mince in English:

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Pronunciation: /mɪns/


1 [with object] (often as adjective minced) Cut up (food, especially meat) into very small pieces, typically in a machine: minced beef
More example sentences
  • A trace of this practice survives in the serving of toast fingers with plain cooked minced meat, an adaptation made to the original dish in the 18th century.
  • Poultry, sausages and chopped or minced meat must always be thoroughly cooked.
  • Tip into a bowl and mix in the lemon zest, chopped herbs, minced veal, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
chop up, cut up, chop/cut into small pieces;
grind, dice, crumble, cube;
North American  hash
2 [no object] Walk with short quick steps in an affectedly dainty manner: there were plenty of secretaries mincing about
More example sentences
  • And he minces; he takes short, feline, footsteps.
  • Within a few blocks my feet were sliding back and forth inside my sandals, which made it difficult to walk without seeming to mince.
  • Under his critical gaze I manage to avoid mincing, but end up walking with a pronounced limp and a crooked back, instead - Mother Hubbard crossed with an out-of-condition baby elephant.
walk affectedly, walk in an affected/dainty way, teeter, waddle, skip
North American informal sashay
affected, fastidious, dainty, effeminate, niminy-piminy, chichi, foppish, dandyish;
pretentious, precious
informal camp, sissy, la-di-da, campy, queeny
British informal poncey


[mass noun] British
Minced meat, especially beef: stir in the mince and fry until browned
More example sentences
  • Let's face it, beef mince especially, is the worst quality meat product that is allowed to be sold.
  • My recipe today is for Keema - curried mince (ground beef).
  • This is what the guests found: meatballs about the diameter of £2 coins made of lamb, beef and pork mince, with bowls of quite peppery tomato sauce.



mince matters

[usually with negative] dated Use polite or moderate expressions to indicate disapproval: I hope she and her colleagues won’t mince matters
More example sentences
  • He was not one to mince matters, nor did he wrap up inconvenient topics in persiflage.
  • Father Ton is a unique personality who in forthright conversations does not mince matters.
  • Many thoughtful men heard you and have not minced matters in their open approbation of your sermon.

not mince words (or one's words)

Voice one’s disapproval candidly and directly: his doctorly persona is that of a gruff surgeon who does not mince words
More example sentences
  • Dr. Kaufman doesn't mince words: ‘As a general rule, this stuff works.’
  • He doesn't mince words, making it clear that Catholics should believe in what is now called ‘intelligent design’.
  • Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Samantha Parton doesn't mince words when explaining why the Be Good Tanyas are attracted to traditional roots music.
talk straight, not beat about the bush, call a spade a spade, speak straight from the shoulder, pull no punches, make no bones about something, get to the point
informal tell it like it is
North American informal talk turkey



Pronunciation: /ˈmɪnsə/
Example sentences
  • These were then put through a mincer, washed, sieved and dried before being planted.
  • There are sausage-makers, pasta makers, mincers, olive presses and, there on the shelf behind one of the proprietors, a rugged little cheesegrater.
  • Chopping devices are favoured over mincers because the latter tend to crush the meat, squeezing out the juices.


Late Middle English: from Old French mincier, based on Latin minutia 'smallness'.

  • The words mince, minute ‘small’, menu, and diminish all derive ultimately from Latin minutus ‘small’. Mince in the sense ‘expressing yourself candidly’, now found mainly in not mince your words, goes back to Shakespeare: in Henry V King Henry says to the French princess he is courting, ‘I know no ways to mince it in love, but directly to say, I love you.’ This use produced ‘to say in an affectedly refined way’ and then ‘to walk in an effeminately dainty way’, as early as the 1560s. In the sense ‘ground meat’ mince was earlier mincemeat (mid 17th century) and even earlier minced meat. The mincemeat put in pies at Christmas originally contained meat as well as fruit. To make mincemeat of, to defeat easily in a fight or contest, dates from the late 17th century.

Words that rhyme with mince

chintz, convince, evince, Linz, Port-au-Prince, prince, quince, rinse, since, Vince, wince

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mince

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