Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


to move around and talk to a lot of people, especially at a social event

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The verb mingle comes from an old verb ‘ming’ meaning to make a mixture, plus the suffix -le. It was first used in the 15th century.


When people mingle they move around and talk to each other. People can mingle, or you can mingle with people; you can also just say that you mingle,  meaning that you move around talking to different people’ Things can mingle too, especially smells, flavours and feelings. Again, you can say that they mingle, or that one thing mingles with another, as in the examples given in the Macmillan Dictionary entry:

Leave the dessert overnight for the flavours to mingle.

Polly felt hope mingled with fear.

Mingle is what is known as a reciprocal verb, meaning that it describes something that two people or things do to or with each other.  So if I mingle with you, you have no choice but to mingle with me; or if hope and fear mingle, both emotions are present simultaneously. Mingling is currently frowned upon and even banned in many parts of the UK except in certain very limited circumstances, as it can lead to the spread of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.


“Our selfe will mingle with Society, And play the humble Host.”
(Shakespeare, Macbeth)

In real life I avoid all parties altogether, but on paper I can mingle with the best of them.
(Anne Tyler)

Related words

mix, blend, intermingle, merge

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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