mimosa (n.)
genus of leguminous shrubs, 1731, coined in Modern Latin (1619) from Latin mimus "mime" (see mime (n.)) + -osa, adjectival suffix (fem. of -osus). So called because some species (including the common Sensitive Plant) fold leaves when touched, seeming to mimic animal behavior. The alcoholic drink (by 1977) is so called from its yellowish color, which resembles that of the mimosa flower.
mina (n.)
talking starling of India, see mynah.
minacious (adj.)
"threatening," 1650s, from Latin minaci-, stem of minax "threatening, menacing" (from minari; see menace (n.)) + -ous. Related: Minaciously.
minaret (n.)
1680s, from French minaret, from Turkish minare "a minaret," from Arabic manarah, manarat "lamp, lighthouse, minaret," related to manar "candlestick," derivative of nar "fire;" compare Hebrew ner "lamp" (see menorah).
minatory (adj.)
"expressing a threat, 1530s, from Middle French minatoire, from Late Latin minatorius, from minat-, stem of minari "to threaten" (see menace (n.)).
mince (v.)
late 14c., "to chop in little pieces," from Old French mincier "make into small pieces," from Vulgar Latin *minutiare "make small," from Late Latin minutiæ "small bits," from Latin minutus "small" (see minute (adj.)). Of speech, "to clip affectedly in imitation of elegance," 1540s; of words or language, "to restrain in the interest of decorum," 1590s. Meaning "to walk with short or precise steps" is from 1560s. Related: Minced; mincing.
mince (n.)
"minced meat," 1850; see mincemeat.
mincemeat (n.)
1660s, originally in the figurative sense of what someone plans to make of his enemy, an alteration of earlier minced meat (1570s); from mince (v.) + meat (n.). Mince-pie is attested from c.1600; as rhyming slang for "eye" it is attested from 1857.
mincing (adj.)
"affectedly dainty," 1520s, probably originally in reference to speech, when words were "clipped" to affect elegance; or in reference to walking with short steps; present participle adjective from mince (v.).
mind (n.)
late 12c., from Old English gemynd "memory, remembrance, state of being remembered; thought, purpose; conscious mind, intellect, intention," Proto-Germanic *ga-mundiz (cognates: Gothic muns "thought," munan "to think;" Old Norse minni "mind;" German Minne (archaic) "love," originally "memory, loving memory"), from PIE root *men- "think, remember, have one's mind aroused," with derivatives referring to qualities of mind or states of thought (cognates: Sanskrit matih "thought," munih "sage, seer;" Greek memona "I yearn," mania "madness," mantis "one who divines, prophet, seer;" Latin mens "mind, understanding, reason," memini "I remember," mentio "remembrance;" Lithuanian mintis "thought, idea," Old Church Slavonic mineti "to believe, think," Russian pamjat "memory").

Meaning "mental faculty" is mid-14c. "Memory," one of the oldest senses, now is almost obsolete except in old expressions such as bear in mind, call to mind. Mind's eye "remembrance" is early 15c. Phrase time out of mind is attested from early 15c. To pay no mind "disregard" is recorded from 1916, American English dialect. To have half a mind to "to have one's mind half made up to (do something)" is recorded from 1726. Mind-reading is from 1882.
mind (v.)
mid-14c., "to remember, take care to remember," also "to remind," from mind (n.). Meaning "perceive, notice" is from late 15c.; that of "to give heed to" is from 1550s; that of "be careful about" is from 1737. Sense of "object to, dislike" is from c.1600; negative use (with not) "to care for, to trouble oneself with" is attested from c.1600. Meaning "to take care of, look after" is from 1690s. Related: Minded; minding. Meiotic expression don't mind if I do attested from 1847.
mind-boggling (adj.)
1964; see mind (n.) + present participle of boggle.
minded (adj.)
c.1500, "having a mind" (to do); "having a mind" (of a certain type), from mind (n.).
mindful (adj.)
mid-14c., from mind (n.) + -ful. Related: Mindfully; mindfulness. Old English myndful meant "of good memory." Old English also had myndig (adj.) "mindful, recollecting; thoughtful," which if it had lived might have yielded a modern *mindy.
mindless (adj.)
c.1400, "unmindful, heedless, negligent," from mind (n.) + -less. Related: Mindlessly; mindlessness. Old English had myndleas "foolish, senseless."
mindset (n.)
also mind-set, "habits of mind formed by previous experience," 1920, in educators' jargon, from mind (n.) + set (v.).
mine (pron.)
Old English min "mine, my," (pronoun and adjective), from Proto-Germanic *minaz (cognates: Old Frisian, Old Saxon Old High German min, Middle Dutch, Dutch mijn, German mein, Old Norse minn, Gothic meins "my, mine"), from the base of me. Superseded as adjective beginning 13c. by my.
mine (n.1)
"pit or tunnel in the earth for obtaining metals and minerals," c.1300, from Old French mine "vein, lode; tunnel, shaft; mineral ore; mine" (for coal, tin, etc,), of uncertain origin, probably from a Celtic source (compare Welsh mwyn, Irish mein "ore, mine"), from Old Celtic *meini-. Italy and Greece were relatively poor in minerals, thus they did not contribute a word for this to English, but there was extensive mining from an early date in Celtic lands (Cornwall, etc.). From c.1400 as "a tunnel under fortifications to overthrow them."
mine (v.2)
"lay explosives," 1620s, in reference to old tactic of tunneling under enemy fortifications to blow them up; a specialized sense of mine (v.1) via a sense of "dig under foundations to undermine them" (late 14c.), and miner in this sense is attested from late 13c. Related: Mined; mining.
mine (v.1)
to dig, c.1300, "to tunnel under fortifications to overthrow them," from mine (n.1) or from Old French miner "to dig, mine; exterminate." From mid-14c. as "to dig in the earth" (for treasure, etc.). Figurative use from mid-14c. Related: Mined; mining.
mine (n.2)
explosive device, by 1850, from mine (v.2).
mine-sweeper (n.)
1905, from mine (n.2) + agent noun from sweep (v.).
minefield (n.)
1877, from mine (n.2) + field (n.). Figurative use by 1947.
miner (n.)
late 13c., from Old French minour (13c.), from miner "to mine" (see mine (n.1)).
mineral (n.)
late 14c., "substance obtained by mining," from Medieval Latin minerale "something mined," noun use of neuter of mineralis "pertaining to mines," from minera "mine." Meaning "material substance that is neither animal nor vegetable" is first recorded c.1600. Modern scientific sense is from 1813.
mineral (adj.)
early 15c., "neither animal nor vegetable," from Old French mineral and directly from Medieval Latin mineralis (see mineral (n.)). Mineral water (early 15c.) originally was water found in nature with some mineral substance dissolved in it.
mineralogy (n.)
1680s, a hybrid from mineral (n.) + -logy or else from French minéralogie (1640s). Related: Mineralogist; mineralogical.
Minerva
ancient Roman goddess of arts, crafts, and sciences; wisdom, sense, and reflection (later identified with Greek Athene), late 14c., mynerfe, from Latin Minerva, from Old Latin Menerva, from *menes-wa, from PIE root *men- "mind, understanding, reason" (see mind (n.)). Compare Sanskrit Manasvini, name of the mother of the Moon, manasvin "full of mind or sense." Related: Minerval.
minestrone (n.)
Italian vegetable soup, 1871, from Italian minestrone, with augmentative suffix -one + minestra "soup, pottage," literally "that which is served," from minestrare "to serve, to prepare (soup, etc.)," from Latin ministrare (see minister (v.)).
Ming
1670s, dynasty which ruled China from 1368-1644, from Chinese, literally "bright, clear." In reference to the porcelain of the Ming period, attested from 1892.
minge (n.)
"female pudendum," 1903, of unknown origin.
mingle (v.)
mid-15c., "to bring together," frequentative of Middle English myngen "to mix," from Old English mengan (related to second element in among), from Proto-Germanic *mangjan "to knead together" (cognates: Old Saxon mengian, Old Norse menga, Old Frisian mendza, German mengen), from PIE *mag- "to knead, fashion, fit" (see macerate). The formation may have been suggested by cognate Middle Dutch mengelen. Of persons, "to join with others, be sociable" (intransitive), from c.1600. Related: Mingled; mingling.
mini (n.)
1961, abbreviation of mini-car, a small car made by British Leyland (formerly British Motor Corp.). As an abbreviation of miniskirt, it is attested from 1966. The vogue for mini- as a prefix in English word coinage dates from c.1960.
mini-
word-forming element meaning "miniature, minor," abstracted from miniature, with sense perhaps influenced by minimum.
mini-series
also miniseries "television series of short duration, on a single theme," 1971, from mini- + series.
miniature (n.)
1580s, "a reduced image," from Italian miniatura "manuscript illumination or small picture," from past participle of miniare "to illuminate a manuscript," from Latin miniare "to paint red," from minium "red lead," used in ancient times to make red ink, a word said to be of Iberian origin. Sense development is because pictures in medieval manuscripts were small, but no doubt there was influence as well from the similar-sounding Latin words that express smallness: minor, minimus, minutus, etc.
miniature (adj.)
"small," 1714, from minature (n.). Of dog breeds, from 1889. Of golf, from 1893.
miniaturist (n.)
"maker of miniatures," 1800, from miniature (n.) + -ist.
miniaturization (n.)
1947, from miniaturize + -ation. Minification in this sense attested from 1904, on analogy of magnification.
miniaturize (v.)
1946, from miniature (adj.) + -ize. Minify in same sense is from 1670s, on analogy of magnify. Related: Miniaturized; miniaturizing.
minie ball (n.)
kind of rifle bullet, 1853, named for its inventor, French army officer Claude-Étienne Minié (1814-1879), who designed it 1847-8.
minim (n.)
mid-15c., in music, from Latin minimus "smallest, least; minute, trifling, insignificant;" of time, "least, shortest, very short;" of age, "youngest;" as a noun, "least price, lowest price" (see minimum). Calligraphy sense is from c.1600.
minimal (adj.)
"smallest, least," 1660s, from Latin minimus (see minim) + -al (1).
minimalise (v.)
chiefly British English spelling of minimalize. For suffix, see -ize. Related: Minimalised; minimalising.
minimalist (n.)
1907; see minimal + -ist. Originally an Englishing of Menshevik (q.v.); in sense of "practitioner of minimal art" it is first recorded 1967; the term minimal art is from 1965. As an adjective from 1917 in the Russian political sense; 1969 in reference to art. Related: Minimalistic; Minimalism.
minimalize (v.)
1914, see minimal + -ize. Related: Minimalized; minimalizing.
minimally (adv.)
1894, from minimal + -ly (2).
minimise (v.)
chiefly British English spelling of minimize. For suffix, see -ize. Related: Minimised; minimising.
minimization (n.)
1802, from minimize + -ation.
minimize (v.)
1802, first recorded in Bentham; see minimum + -ize.