Definition of mumpsimus in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈməmpsiməs/

noun (plural mumpsimuses)

1A traditional custom or notion adhered to although shown to be unreasonable.
Example sentences
  • ‘A young priest once corrected an old priest for saying mumpsimus instead of sumpsimus in the first prayer after Communion in the Latin Mass. ‘Son,’ said the old priest, ‘I've been saying mumpsimus for thirty years and I'm not going to change my old mumpsimus for your new sumpsimus.'’
1.1A person who obstinately adheres to unreasonable customs or notions.
Example sentences
  • At one time or another, all journalists run the risk of being mumpsimuses - if there is such a word.
  • These dealers and collectors are real mumpsimuses about it, just like those who misuse the word ‘stub’.
  • We've all got a bit of a mumpsimus in us in some way shape or form don't we?


Mid 16th century: erroneously for Latin sumpsimus in quod in ore sumpsimus 'which we have taken into the mouth' (Eucharist), in a story of an illiterate priest who, when corrected, replied “I will not change my old mumpsimus for your new sumpsimus.”.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mump·si·mus

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

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