v. minced, minc·ing, minc·es
a. To cut or chop into very small pieces.
b. To subdivide (land, for example) into minute parts.
2. To pronounce in an affected way, as with studied elegance and refinement.
3. To moderate, restrain, or euphemize (words) for the sake of politeness and decorum: Don't mince words: say what you mean.
1. To walk with very short steps or with exaggerated primness.
2. To speak in an affected way.
Finely chopped food, especially mincemeat.
[Middle English mincen, from Old French mincier, from Vulgar Latin *minūtiāre, from Latin minūtia, smallness; see MINUTIA.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.