mummery

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n mummery meaningless ceremonies and flattery
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Mummery Farcical show; hypocritical disguise and parade or ceremonies.
    • Mummery Masking; frolic in disguise; buffoonery. "The mummery of foreign strollers."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n mummery Pantomime as enacted by mummers; a show or performance of mummers.
    • n mummery A ceremony or performance considered false or pretentious; farcical show; hypocritical disguise and paradc: applied in contempt to various religious ceremonies by people who are of other sects or beliefs.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Mummery sport with a mask on or in disguise: great show without reality
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. momerie, of Dutch or German origin. See Mumm
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. momer—Old Dut. mommen, to mask, mom, a mask, prob. originating in the word mum, used to frighten children while covering the face.

Usage

In literature:

These "visitations" seem to have been characterized by feasting and merriment and some undesirable mummery.
"The Customs of Old England" by F. J. Snell
No muttering and mummery for me!
"The Dragon Painter" by Mary McNeil Fenollosa
That mummery is at an end.
"The King's Esquires" by George Manville Fenn
I have already alluded to the curious bit of mummery which was meant to keep them off.
"The Religious Experience of the Roman People" by W. Warde Fowler
My English readers may consider this as a piece of mummery.
"Valerie" by Frederick Marryat
And to think that good people, millions of them, believe in such mummery!
"The Tyranny of the Dark" by Hamlin Garland
Momerie and Mummery are identical with Mowbray, from Monbrai in Normandy.
"The Romance of Names" by Ernest Weekley
Did he think that Christianity was a gaudy mummery?
"The Romany Rye A Sequel to 'Lavengro'" by George Borrow
Mere mummery and display, and a blow to the dignity of justice!
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
But it would be folly and mummery in our day.
"The Little Manx Nation - 1891" by Hall Caine
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In poetry:

And stopped with, it seemed, my soul in my gaze--
"That you are not happy, Leona of Verne?
There is that at your heart which--well, betrays
These mocking mummeries.--Live and learn!--
And this is the truth that the poet says:--
"My Lady Of Verne" by Madison Julius Cawein