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English spellings/Catalogs/M

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Use in English
Alphabetical word list
Retroalphabetical list  
Common misspellings  

This page lists pronunciations of English words that begin with M. To see a different letter navigate with the table above. The apostrophe is treated as the last letter of the alphabet, after Z.

For a pronunciation key, click on the blue "Catalogs" link below the article title.[e]


M = ém print

Mother = BrE màr ruin = BrE Màrr person

Màasaî

Mâbel rhymes with tâble (and Mâble John)

Mac-, see also Mc-

macádam road = McÁdam person (from which it is derived); names begin Mac-, with or without a following capital, or Mc-, with a following capital, both pronounced Mək-

macán- is spelt mechán- (= McCánn)

macarôni, cf. original Italian maccheroni

MacGrégor or McGrégor *Məgrégor (before G, the c sound is lost)

machétê *məshétty

machinâtion -sh- or -k-

machìne -sh-

machísmo mátch- or mətch-: the normal ch sound reflects the word's Spanish origin, so the Italian-style k that one sometimes hears ("McKismo"?) can sound ignorant

mácho mátch-

Mácintyre = MácKintyre (the c of Mác/Mc always a hard k sound, including before a vowel)

máckerel

Macleod or MacLeod or McLeod *Məclòud

mádam shop, etc

madáme brothel

Madêira

mádeleine cake = Mádeleine Paris, person

mâde-up adjective before noun

mádman or -mán; one word

Madràs

madrássa is perhaps the most phonetic of the many spellings of *mədrássə/*mədràssə

Mâe = Mây = mây

mâelstrom

màêstro *mŷstro

Máfia BrE; AmE Màfia (small m when used figuratively)

magazìne

Mågdalen Oxford = Mågdalene Cambridge, both silent g = måudlin sentimental

Mágdalene Mary *Mágdəlín

magistêrial máj-, cf. májesty

mágistrâte máj-

mágnate power: mágnâte or = mágnet

magnêsium

mágnet magnetic

Maguîre = McGuîre *Məgwîə(r) *McGwîre

Màher Bill = màrr

mâid servant = mâde make

Mâida Vâle

mâil letters = mâle female

mâin principle = mâne horse = Mâine America = Mâyne person

mâinstream one word

maî taî drink = mŷ tîe

mâize crop = mâze labyrinth = Mâys

májesty, cf. majéstic, magistêrial

Majŏrca *Məyŏrkə

majórity

mâkeshift one word

malâise = Malâys

malãria

Malâysia, cf. Âsia etc.

Málcolm person *Málcum, rhyming with tálcum powder

Maldìves *Mål-dêevz

mâle man = mâil post

Màlè Maldives can be written Malé

Màli = BrE Màrley

málíce

malîgn -lîne

malígnant -lígnənt

malínger

måll shopping = måul violence, or máll, and, in London, regularly The Máll and Páll Máll

mállàrd

mállêable

Málory rhymes with Válerie

målt

Målta

Målvern

màma, Màma; archaic Mamà, mamà

Mámmon

mán male = Mán Isle, Manchester = Mánn = Mánne persons, cf. mâne

mánakin - see mánnequin

Manàma

manatêe

Mánbìj

Mánchester, cf. Chéster: both es in Mánchester are normally weak: *Mánchəstər, though some football pundits say "Mán Chéster"

Mancûnian

mándarin

mándâte noun; mandâte, verb

mándatory

mandolíne or mandolín

mâne horse = mâin principal = Mâine State

mânger -j-, cf. mánager

mângy -jy

mánhandle

mâniácal

máníkin, mánníkin - see mánnequin

Maníla

mán-mâde

mánna heaven BrE = mánor house = mánner way

mánnequin dummy = máníkin dwarf, model, cf. mánakin bird

manoeûvre BrE or manœûvre; AmE maneûver

manoeuvrabílity BrE; AmE maneuvrabílity, one word

mànquè, manqué *mànkây

mánslåughter *mánsslåwter

mántle, cf. méntal (minimal pair)

many rhymes with pénny, cf. Mánny Emmanuel

Màó rhymes with còw

Màóri rhymes with Lòwry

Mâpplethorpe Robert *Mâplethorpe: unusual flouting of double-consonant rule in person's name, cf. mâple tree, mápping map

márathon AmE ó; BrE o as schwa

Marbèlla *Màr-bâya

màrch walk = Màrch month

mãre horse = mãyor councillor = Mãir person

màrè plain (on the Moon or Mercury, plural mària)

margarìne màrj-

Màrgot -gô

Màrgolỳes -lêez

Marìa but: Bláck Marîa

mària moon (plural of màrè, dark "sea" area on Moon or Mercury)

Marîah Carey, cf. parîah

Márian, like Ísabél, has an o variant, Márion

Mariánne

Mariê is usual, but Màrie Lloyd, cf. Màry Celéste

marìna

marìne

máriner sailor = Márriner person

Mário

máritîme

màrk = Màrk

màrket

Màrlborocigarette -bərə = Màrlborough person

Mårlborough town *Måwlbərə

màrmalâde

màrquess = màrquis

màrquetry *màrketry

màrr ruin = Màrr = Màher

Márrakesh or -ch, pronounced -sh

márriage *márij, cf. French mariage

Màrs Martian = màrs mar

Marsèille *Marssây

màrshal officer = Màrshall = Màrshal persons = màrtial war = Màrtial poet, minimal pair with Màrtian

màrten animal = màrtín bird = Màrtín person

Màrtìne feminine

màrtyr -tər

màrvel

Marvéll

Mãry, cf. márry; but Màry Celéste

Mãryland, Máryland

Márylebone *Márryləbən, *Màrləbən

māsk face = māsque ball BrE = AmE mósque Islam

Massachûsetts

mássacre -ker

mássacring

mássàge -àzh; AmE *məssàzh

massëuse -ëz; AmE -ûz

māsterpiece one word

māsterstroke one word

másturbate

Matabêlêlánd

matêrial: -al, unlike in French; cf. mátter

mátinèe *mátinây: matinée, French accent can be written in BrE but not in AmE

mâtrix

máttress

måudlin sentimental = Mågdalen Oxford = Mågdalene Cambridge

måul lion = måll shops

Maurice person BrE = Mórrís name; AmE Maurìce; see -óris in Retroalphabetical List

Mauritânia BrE *Morritânia

mauve colour *môav, cf. move *moôv movement

mâven, mâvin

Maximílian rhymes with míllion

mây perhaps = Mây month, person = Mâe person

mâybe perhaps: only when it means perhaps is it one word, cf. mây bê verbs: mâybe it’s trûe; ít mây bê trûe

mâyhém

mãyor councillor = mãre horse = Mãir person, cf. Mâyer person, mâjor

mãyoral, mayŏral

Mc-, see also Mac-

McCánn = first two syllables of mechánical

McEnroe *Máckenroe

McGóugh *MəGóff

McGuínness makes a minimal pair with McÍnnes

McIlroy *Máckilroy

McKénzie = MacKénzie = Mackénzie Mək-

McLeod *McLòud

McNamàra = Macnamàra

myself = Mêe person

mêad

méadôw

mêaly-mòuthed

mêan intend, generous = mìên face

méant mean, cf. -ment suffix

mêantime one word

mêasles rhymes with wêasels

méasure *mézher

mêat flesh = mêet up = mête appropriate

mêatball one word

mechánic məká-, cf. machìne məsh-

mechánical məká-

méchanism mékə-

médal medallion = méddle interfere

mêdia

mêdial

mêdiate

médical

Medìci *Mədêechee

médicine: the first i may be silent

medìêval or medìaêval *medì-êvəl or *medêvəl

méditate

Mediterrânean cf. ‘terra’, Latin for ‘earth’, so it is not spelt *Meditterânean

Medvédev *Midvyédiff

= Mêe

mêet encounter = mêat eat = mête suitable, out

megalomâniac

megalomanîacal

Mégan

melanchôlia -nk-

mélancholy -nk-

Melanêsia

Mélanie, cf. mélody, Delâney

Mélbourne *Mélbə(r)n makes a minimal pair with Mílburn *Mílbə(r)n

méltdown noun one word

même

meménto remember, cf. môment, moméntous, moméntum time: A meménto, remémber, ís an âid to mémory, an aide-memoire...

mémoir *mémwàr (no final -e unlike in French original)

ménace rhymes with Dénnis and ténnis (-əss or -íss)

menágerie

*mént: méant is the past tense of mêan; -ment, the suffix, is more common

méntal, cf. mántle (minimal pair)

méntǒr

ménû *ményu rhymes with vénue

Ménuhin *Ményuwin

Ménzíes Robert

Menzies Campbell *Míngiz, standard Scots pronunciation

Méopham *Méppəm

mêre

mërger makes a minimal pair with mürder

meringue *məráng

mërmaid

mesméric

mésmerise

méssage

méssenger

Méssiàen

Méssrs Mister, cf. mésser mess

Mésurier John le = méasurer measure

métal metallic = méttle quality

metamŏrphôsis - either stressed

mête suitable, out = mêet encounter = mêat animal

meteorólogy mê-

mêter machine = mêtre distance, rhythm BrE; all three meanings in AmE are mêter

méthane AmE; BrE mêthane

methínks one word *mê thínks

méthod

methódical

méthýl

méthylâted spírits

mètièr can have French accent métier *mâytiay

métro

metrópolis

metropólitan

meŵ cat = Greek

meŵs street, cat = mûse think, inspiration

mézzanìne méts- or méz-

mézzo *métso

doh-re-mi = I

Miámì *Mŷ-ámmy

miaòw

mîc = mîke microphone = Mîke Michael

mîca = Mîcah

Mîchael *Mŷcle, rhyming with cŷcle

Michâela *Mí-kâylə

Míchaelmas *Míckleməs

Míckey Mouse, etc = Míckie

mîcro-

mîcrô-ŏrganism hyphenated

míd does not require hyphen

middây (pronounced like two words: pause on d sound to indicate both ds pronounced, but no hyphen between them)

Míddlesbrough England *Míddlzbrə; cf. Míddlesborough Kentucky

mídnight *mídnîte

mídsummer = Mídsomer

mídwîfe

midwífery

mìên face = mêan intend, ungenerous

míffed rhymes with ríft etc.

mîght perhaps, power = mîte small, arachnid

mìgraine BrE; AmE mîgraine

mîgrant cf. ímmígrant

migrâte = my grâte

Miguél: Spanish and Portuguese silent u (which keeps the g hard) is pronounced w by some anglophones

mîke = mîc microphone = Mîke Michael

Milán city, second syllable stressed

Mìlán person, football *Mêelán, first syllable stressed: boy's name and, from Milanese, can be used when referring to AC Milan football club

mîles mile = Mîles person

Mílibánd

mílitant makes a minimal pair with Míllicent

mílitary

milítia *milíshə

millénnium

míllipede

Milwåukee

mímic rhymes with gímmick

minarét

mînd brain, care = mîned mining

Mindanào

mîndset noun one word

mîne me, bomb, coal

mînefield one word

mîner coal = mînor small, young, major

minestrônê

míni small = Mínnie person

míniature *mínitcher

mínímum

mínistry, cf. mónastery

mínkê *mínky

mínstrel

mînus

mínuscule, now also míniscule

mínute time *mínít

minûte tiny = mŷ neŵt

minûtiae *minûshî or *minûshìî

mîre

mìrror = mêre in AmE; BrE *mírə, *mêə

mís- joined, not hyphenated; = míss = Míss

miscellâneous -səl-

miscéllany -sél-

míschíef

míschíevous

misconcéption

mîser

míserable

misére (or as French, misère) *mí-zér

mísery

mísháp *míss-háp

mislêad

misléd

misnômer

misógynist

misquôte

míss aim = Míss female = mís- wrong

míssal prayers = AmE míssile hit, cf. BrE pronunciation míssîle

míssed miss = míst fog

misshâpen *míss-shâpen

míssion *míshən

Mississíppì

*míssle = míssîle, see míssal

Missoûrì *Mizoôry; some AmE speakers say *Mízoôrə

misspéll

místral wind, cf. místrîal trial

misunderstánding

misûse

mîte small, arachnid = mîght perhaps, power

Mládic *Mláditch, two syllables

mnemónic, silent initial m

Mnûchin Mənû-

Môáb

môbîle move

Môbìle Alabama

Môbley

módel *móddle, cf. môtél

móderate tempered, móderâte verb

môdus operándî

môdus vivéndì

Mohámmed is probably more common in British English, Muhámmad in American, e.g. the boxer Muhámmad Alì; also variants Mohámed Morsi, etc.; *Məhámid, *Məháməd

mŏist

mŏisten *mŏissən

Mojàvê *Məhàvì

môld American English = môuld British English

mólecule

molécular

molést

móllycoddled one word

Mólotov -f

Mólineûx *Móllyneŵ

móllusc (AmE also móllusk)

móm/mòm mother (*màhm, or = BrE múm; does not rhyme with BrE Tóm)

Mombása *Mombássa

môment, moméntous, moméntum, cf. meménto

Mónaco

mónarch BrE -nək, AmE -nrk or -nàrk

Mónbìôt *Mónbeêo

Monegásque -ásk

mónestery *mónistry, cf. mínistry

mònetary

mòney

mòngrel

mónicker name = móniker name; BrE = Mónica person

mòníes = mòneys and mòníed = mòneyed, variant spellings

mónitor

mònk

monópoly = Monópoly game (Monópoly mòney)

mónster

mónstrous

Móntagûe or -û

Montána BrE and AmE, cf. AmE banána but BrE banàna, with the usual BrE pronunciation of this ending (also Alabáma and Louisiána are both BrE and AmE)

Montenêgro, Montenégro

Monterrèy

Montevidèo

Montgómery = Montgómerie

mònth *múnth, cf. mòunt *màoont

Montreål *Móntry-åll

Montrëux *Montrüh *Montrër

moôg or *môag; or M-

moôn

mŏor land = mŏre plus = Mŏore = Mŏre names

moôt mention, late, cf. mûte silent

môped mope

môpéd bike

móral BrE, AmE mŏral virtuous

morāle confidence

moratǒrium

moreôver

mŏrès -âyz

móribund

mŏrning early = mŏurning death

Morócco

mŏron

Mórris person BrE = Maurice person, rhyming with lóris, Bóris and Dóris (all ŏ in AmE)

mŏrtgage *mŏrgij

mŏrtíce or mŏrtíse

mosâíc pattern = Mosâíc Jewish *môzâíc

Móscôw; some AmE speakers say Móscòw

mósque Islam *mósk AmE = BrE māsk face = másque ball, cf. músk

mosquìto -skêeto

môte eye = môat castle

móthball one word

motìf pattern mô-, cf. môtive reason

mótto

moûe pout = moô cow

môuld British English = môld American English

mòund

mòuntaínous -tínəss

mŏurn dead = mŏrn morning

mòuse rodent, cf. moûsse

Mòusehole Cornwall *Mòuzəl (cf. mòusehôle mouse, as two words)

moûsse chocolate = moôse animal, cf. mòuse

moustāche BrE *məstàsh; AmE mústache, *mústásh

mòuth noun th unvoiced, verb th voiced, same spelling, cf. bréath noun th unvoiced, brêathe adding an e when becoming a verb, th also voiced

mòuthpiece one word

move moving *mûve, cf. mauve colour *môve

Môzart *Môatsart

mozzarélla *mótsa-réla

Mr abbreviation of míster, full form rarely used

Mrs *míssíz; abbreviation of míssis or míssus, of which the full form is rarely used; = mísses mistakes, girls

Greek = meŵ cat

Mubārak

mûcus

Múeller Robert

mûesli *meŵsley

muézzin

Muhámmad, see Mohámmed

Mûïr name *meŵer

mujahidêen is one of many spellings

múlct

múll over = Múll Scotland

múlti- is a prefix, not a word, and must be either joined to the next word, as in múltitask, or hyphenated, as always before a following vowel, as in múlti-instruméntalist

múltiplŷ verb

múltiplỳ adverb

múm quiet, BrE mother, cf. AmE móm mother

Mùmbaî, Mumbaî (echoing the stress pattern of Bombây), Múmbaî

múmmy body, mother BrE, cf. AmE mómmy mother

múnch -ch sound, cf. Édvàrd Mùnch, *Moònk

Mûnich -ík

mürder

Mürdoch -ók or -ókh

mürky

mürmur cf. mürder, minimal pair

Mürphy *Mërfie

Múrraỳ = Mòray Firth = Múrry, cf. húrry

múscle body = mússel shellfish

Múscovite

mûse think, inspiration = meŵs street, cat

musêum mûz-

mûsic current = mûsick archaic

músk makes a minimal pair with mósque

Mùslim BrE, some AmE -, both -z-

múslin

mústáche AmE *mústásh; BrE moustàche *məstàsh

mústard food = mústered muster

mústn't *mússənt

mûte silent, cf. moôt mention

Myánmàr is a good example of the folly of trying to control exonyms: one cannot dictate how one's name is pronounced in another language. *Myánmà/*Myànmà (two syllables) is the intended pronunciation, with the y as a semiconsonant, thus maintaining the two-syllable stress pattern of Bürma (another variant of the same original), but this hasn't been generally understood: the y is instead being vocalised, sometimes to ŷ as in , but more often, as in the most common broadcast pronunciation, to (a very rare stressed) , turning the first syllable into : *Mỳənmà(r)—adding a syllable, and sounding in BrE like mê 'n' Mà; meanwhile, some still say Bürma, and there is no sign of Burmêse being replaced

mŷnah bird = BrE mînor lesser = mîner mines

mŷre

mýriad

mÿrtle

mýstery *místry

mystìque *mistêek, cf. mistâke

mýth

myxomatôsis