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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Mummy


MUM'MY, noun

1. A dead human body embalmed and dried after the Egyptian manner; a name perhaps given to it from the substance used in preserving it. There are two kinds of mummies. The first are bodies dried by the heat of the sun. Such are found in the sands of Libya. The other kind is taken from the catacombs in Egypt.

2. The name of two substances prepared for medicinal use, which according to Hill are, the one, the dried flesh of human bodies embalmed with myrrh and spice; the other, a liquor running from such mummies when newly prepared, or when affected by great heat and damps. This is preserved in vials, and if suffered to dry, becomes solid. But it is alleged that the first sort consists of pieces of the flesh of executed criminals, or other flesh filled with bitumen and other ingredients. But see the opinion of Chardin, supra.

3. There are found in Poland natural mummies lying in caverns, supposed to be the remains of persons who in time of war took refuge in caves, but being discovered were suffocated by their enemies. These bodies are dried, with the flesh and skin shrunk almost close to the bones, and are of a blackish color.

4. Among gardeners, a sort of wax used in grafting and planting trees.

To beat to a mummy to beat soundly, or to a senseless mass.