February 10, 2012
mull (verb)
\MUL\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: to think about slowly and carefully : ponder
How do you use it?
I asked Grandpa if I could go boating with him, and after he mulled it over for a bit, he finally said "yes."
Are you a word wiz?

After you've had a chance to mull it over, answer today's quiz: what do you think the verb "mull" first meant when it came into English?

Your pondering paid off if you chose B! When "mull" first came into English in the 15th century, it meant "to grind into a powder" or "pulverize," from the Middle English root word, "mul," meaning "dust." Grinding breaks up something into smaller parts, and usually takes a long time, often from working the same material over and over. So it's not hard to see how "mull" eventually gained the extended sense of "to think about slowly and carefully." What about Answer C? There is another word "mull" that means "to stew with spices," but it's not related to the "mull" we're featuring today.
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