Definition of mushroom in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmʌʃruːm/
Pronunciation: /ˈmʌʃrʊm/


Image of mushroom
1A fungal growth that typically takes the form of a domed cap on a stalk, with gills on the underside of the cap: she sautéd the mushrooms in butter [as modifier]: mushroom soup
More example sentences
  • My favourite wild mushrooms are ceps and chanterelles or girolles.
  • It is hard to imagine how anyone could better his wild mushroom and white truffle risotto either.
  • The fungal kingdom is a lot more than mushrooms and toadstools.
1.1A thing resembling a mushroom in shape: a mushroom of smoke and flames
More example sentences
  • Fifty years on and technology seems to have leapt on by generations as you see the mushroom shaped cloud of the first nuclear test bomb rising high above the New Mexico desert.
  • I could see black mushrooms of smoke where the shells exploded.
  • Two mushrooms of smoke rose in the sky, about five hundred meters away, and melded together.

Mushrooms are fruiting bodies that produce spores, growing from the hyphae of fungi concealed in soil or wood. Proverbial for rapid growth, many varieties are edible and toadstools are often called mushrooms when they are considered to be edible.

2 [mass noun] A pale pinkish-brown colour: [as modifier]: a mushroom leather bag
More example sentences
  • Mine was painted a kind of pale mushroom colour, with a burgundy couch.
  • Natural colours - pebble, mushroom and lilac - soften the industrial core and contrast well with the metal staircase that links the gallery floors.
  • The decor is trendy and minimalist, with a lot of cream and mushroom shades used, giving it an appearance that is somewhat similar to another nearby wine bar.


[no object]
1Increase, spread, or develop rapidly: environmental concern mushroomed in the 1960s
More example sentences
  • As the number of golf courses mushrooms, concerns have arisen about the development of young golfers who will bring popularity to the game.
  • Starting from Florence, these protests rapidly mushroomed over the entire country.
  • The federal prison population has mushroomed since the 1980s when stiff mandatory sentences were introduced for federal offenses, especially drug crimes.
proliferate, grow/develop rapidly, burgeon, spread, increase, expand, spring up, shoot up, sprout, burst forth, boom, explode, snowball, rocket, skyrocket;
thrive, flourish, prosper
2Form a shape resembling that of a mushroom: the grenade mushroomed into red fire as it hit the hillside
2.1(Of a bullet) expand and flatten on reaching its target: these are high-performance bullets which mushroom upon impact
More example sentences
  • The recovered bullet had stayed together and mushroomed to a full inch - the only .45 slug I've ever seen expand that much in living flesh and bone.
  • At that range, the bullets would barely have had time to mushroom before punching straight through him, dermal weave or not.
  • When a hollow point bullet hits a bullet proof vest, it mushrooms and will not go through the vest.
3 (usually as noun mushrooming) Gather mushrooms: he went mushrooming with his father



Example sentences
  • This was as pretty as it was good, a fine interplay between a select chunk of fish, firm beans and delicate, mushroomy sauce with a touch of sweetness to it.
  • The menu mentions a ‘creamy sauce,’ generally a cause for concern - but in this case, mere dabs of a mushroomy cream accent rather than smother.
  • Cooleeney, the white-mould cheese made in the middle of the Tipperary bogs, is best eaten at about nine weeks, when the texture is velvety and the taste oaky and mushroomy.


Late Middle English (originally denoting any fungus having a fleshy fruiting body): from Old French mousseron, from late Latin mussirio(n-).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mush|room

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