mill 1 (mĭl)
a. A building equipped with machinery for grinding grain into flour or meal.
b. A device or mechanism that grinds grain.
a. A building or farm equipped with machinery that presses or grinds fruit to extract the juice: a cider mill.
b. A device or machine used to extract juice from fruit.
3. A machine or device that reduces a solid or coarse substance into pulp or minute grains by crushing, grinding, or pressing: a pepper mill.
4. A building or group of buildings equipped with machinery for processing raw materials into finished or industrial products: a textile mill; a steel mill.
a. A machine, such as one for stamping coins, that produces something by the repetition of a simple process.
b. A steel roller bearing a raised design, used for making a die or a printing plate by pressure.
c. Any of various machines for shaping, cutting, polishing, or dressing metal surfaces.
a. A process, agency, or institution that operates in a mechanical way or turns out products in the manner of a factory: The college was nothing more than a diploma mill.
b. A business that breeds and sells animals, such as purebred puppies, often in substandard conditions. Often used in combination: a puppy mill.
7. A difficult or laborious series of experiences: went through the mill trying to get approval to build an addition onto the house.
v. milled, mill·ing, mills
1. To grind, pulverize, or break down into smaller particles in a mill: mill grain.
2. To produce or process mechanically in a mill: mill steel.
3. To cut, shape, or finish in a mill or with a milling tool: logs that are milled for lumber.
a. To produce a ridge around the edge of (a coin).
b. To groove or flute the rim of (a coin or other metal object).
5. Western US To cause (cattle) to move in a circle or tightening spiral in order to stop a stampede.
1. To move around in churning confusion: "A crowd of school children milled about on the curb looking scared" (Anne Tyler).
2. Slang To fight with the fists; box.
3. To undergo milling: grain that mills well.
[Middle English milne, mille, from Old English mylen, from Late Latin molīna, molīnum, from feminine and neuter of molīnus, of a mill, from Latin mola, millstone, from molere, to grind; see melə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. 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.