Mince vs mints

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Mince and mints are two words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will examine the difference in meaning between mince and mints, where the words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Mince describes food, usually meat, that is cut and sliced and into very small pieces. In British English, mince almost always refers to beef that is sliced and cut into very small pieces. Mince may be used as a noun or a verb, related words are minces, minced, mincing. The adjective form is minced. Interestingly, mince is sometimes also used as a verb to mean to walk with short, fast steps. The word mince is derived from the French word mincier,  which means to make into small pieces.

Mints is the plural form of mint, which is an aromatic herb with a fresh taste often used in chewing gum, deserts and jellies. Mints may also mean places where money is coined or the act of coining money. In addition, mint may mean newly produced, or tip-top condition. Related words are mint, minted, minting, minty. The word mint is derived from the Old English word minte.


Lucas Payà, National U.S. Brand Educator for Lustau Sherries and Brandies, noted in an email that, “As a matter of fact, a lot of the classics were originally brandy cocktails, like the Sazerac and even possibly the Old Fashioned and Mint Julep.” (Forbes Magazine)

The rise of Donald Trump, Brexit and political shocks has driven demand for gold bullion from the “person in the street,” the chief of the UK’s Royal Mint said. (Business Insider)

Only two months ago, he finally found a Buddy L Zoo truck — mint condition, still in its box. (The Santa Fe New Mexican)