Definition of mutton in English:

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mutton

Pronunciation: /ˈmʌt(ə)n/

noun

[mass noun]
The flesh of fully grown sheep used as food: a leg of 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.

Phrases

1

(as) dead as mutton

Quite dead.
Example sentences
  • Totally unsuccessful, because they are as dead as mutton.
  • He was as dead as mutton by the time I'd got him out of the little beggar's paws.
  • There have been numerous similar proverbial comparisons - dead as a mackerel, dead as mutton, dead as a herring, dead as stone - but this one, with its alliterative lilt, has survived longest.
2

mutton dressed as lamb

British informal, derogatory A middle-aged or old woman dressed in a style suitable for a much younger woman.
Example sentences
  • He said: ‘You get to an age when you look like mutton dressed as lamb.’
  • Dress your age, the article exhorted, and while the writer went on to say there were no longer any rules, the models were brooding over issues such as when a perky little miniskirt became mutton dressed as lamb.
  • ‘She's far too old for that - she looks like mutton dressed as lamb,’ said one of my friends.

Derivatives

muttony

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.

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

Words that rhyme with mutton

button, glutton, Hutton

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: mut¦ton

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