Main definitions of mill in English

: mill1mill2

mill1

noun

  • 1A building equipped with machinery for grinding grain into flour.

    • ‘Derelict flour mills on the River Roach could become a new marine development, possibly including waterside homes and moorings.’
    • ‘The first industries, which developed at the beginning of the twentieth century, included a brewery, a chocolate factory, and a flour mill.’
    • ‘Urban Splash will then turn its attention to other projects in the town - with renovations of old mills and the building of new apartments both likely.’
    • ‘Then, just a short distance from the church, the archaeologists discovered evidence of metalworking, a mill and farm buildings.’
    • ‘Built in the 1950s as a flour mill, this huge brick building was used for only 20 years before it was abandoned.’
    • ‘This is the case for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, edible oils and fats, grain and feed mills, bakeries and ice cream factories.’
    • ‘In flour mills and food processing plants, insects that survive an insecticide treatment could live on food or crumbs left by poor sanitation.’
    • ‘One older farmer, John, came into the mill today with a bag of wheat he's just harvested.’
    • ‘The town boasted three flour mills, a bakery, a tannery, several breweries, shops and rows and rows of little cottages.’
    • ‘Once upon a time, there was a handful of organic grain farmers in New York and one organic flour mill.’
    • ‘The co-op has also just purchased its own whole-wheat flour mill (albeit used).’
    • ‘The agriculture-based industry like cold stores, rice mills and flour mills had come to a grinding halt.’
    • ‘To complete a second mill, growers were charged higher fees, resulting in the defection of many Depression-weary members.’
    • ‘Mr Naeem in his petition pointed out that as many as 100 flour mills have been closed down in the province due to non-availability of wheat.’
    • ‘Last year the company closed several grain mills in NSW.’
    • ‘At mills or bakeries, barley flour can be added to flours from other grains for baking.’
    • ‘Formed out of an old flour mill, the building has a powerful green pre-patinated louvred wall which modifies sun penetration of the interior.’
    • ‘These water mill agencies each operated a mill, making flour for the Food Services Bureau of the imperial palaces as well as for other residents of the capital city.’
    • ‘He recently finished a series of photos of old grist mills.’
    • ‘The automobile assembly plants in Detroit, the flour mills in Minneapolis, and the stockyards in Chicago were all urban institutions.’
    factory, plant, processing plant, works, workshop, shop, foundry, industrial centre, industrial unit
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A piece of machinery that grinds grain into flour.
      • ‘In colonial America, small streams powered rural grist mills and sawmills.’
      • ‘The grinding or rolling of grain can produce acceptable swine feeds if the mills are operated correctly.’
      • ‘Terrestrial centrifugal grinding mills and density-separation jigs can be adapted for this work.’
      • ‘In Hobart and Launceston the colonists captured the waters of nearby streams to power flour mills.’
      • ‘The hand mill for grinding flour was knocked over and she righted it, but as she looked around her, she realized there was not enough here for her to start again.’
    2. 1.2 A domestic device for grinding a solid substance to powder or pulp.
      ‘a coffee mill’
      • ‘The fish is seasoned with salt and a few twists of a mill containing peppercorns and allspice berries.’
      • ‘Also at odds with the ‘fine dining’ experience were the salt and pepper shakers on each table - not a pepper or salt mill in sight.’
      grinder, quern, crusher
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A building fitted with machinery for a manufacturing process.
      ‘a steel mill’
      [as modifier] ‘a mill town’
      • ‘This footage is followed by scarily similar scenes of rows of identical workers entering and working in the factories and steel mills.’
      • ‘The mill was equipped with all the latest technological innovations and, when completed, was said to be among the world's best.’
      • ‘The economy was booming when construction of the paper pulp mill began in 1986.’
      • ‘The former textile mill is a chaotic sprawl of one- and two-story buildings that house 50-plus stores.’
      • ‘Unlike machinery used in textile mills, steelmaking machinery had few spinning belts that could pull workers into drive shafts.’
      • ‘Under oath Peter could not deny that this was how she was employed by the mill.’
      • ‘While the mill employed many workers, they were often interesting men with odd pasts.’
      • ‘The building, a former textile mill, has been unoccupied for a number of years.’
      • ‘Build some new textile mills in third world countries.’
      • ‘He wanted to know about the people who worked in the factories, spinning mills and workshops.’
      • ‘The lumber mill closed three years ago, plunging the town into ruin.’
      • ‘The first wave of Asian immigrants worked for low wages in woollen mills.’
      • ‘Essie Mae grew up mainly with an aunt and uncle in a steel mill town not far from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.’
      • ‘We regular listeners became as familiar with the kids and teachers of this Midwestern steel mill town as we were with our own relatives.’
      • ‘Along the way, the train passes by abandoned steel mills and through the towns where the employees who worked there lived.’
      • ‘Both were located in mill towns - one steel, the other pottery - and on Sunday mornings, he drove back and forth between the two.’
      • ‘For example, rural areas are having to contend with the disappearance of industries such as assembly plants, textile mills, and food processing plants.’
      • ‘The former cotton mill was last used as a small engineering firm.’
      • ‘The inspiration for designing and building my own lumber mill came strictly from a cost standpoint.’
      • ‘Despite efforts to develop the building, the former mill has been largely derelict since 1987 although part of it has been used for denim jean manufacture.’
    4. 1.4 A piece of manufacturing machinery.
      • ‘The firm, which makes internal mixers, mills and calenders for the rubber and plastic industry, has gone into receivership.’
      • ‘John explained that the teams operating the traction engines and threshing mills will have them working for twenty minutes at a time several times a day so that the public can gain a picture of what the work was like.’
      • ‘Steam power drove threshing mills and other barn machinery.’
      • ‘Change lay ahead, and the mills and traction engines would be superseded as working units, but interest in them has not died.’
    5. 1.5US A place that processes things or people in a mechanical way.
      ‘a correspondence school that was just a diploma mill’
      • ‘The school is trending toward being nothing more than an expensive diploma mill.’
      • ‘According to the General Accounting Office, 28 top federal workers have degrees from diploma mills.’
      • ‘The university started getting complaints and threats of lawsuits from the diploma mills.’
      • ‘What is a reasonable way to dry up the old gossip mill?’
      • ‘Congress also wanted to get a sense of how much, if any, federal money pays for tuitions at diploma mills.’
      • ‘This past October, McDevitt and federal agents broke up what they allege could be one of the largest diploma mills in the country.’
  • 2informal An engine.

    • ‘Engine options range from a 125 bhp, 2.2 litre turbodiesel mill to a pair of new turbocharged 2.0 litre petrol units.’
  • 3informal, dated A boxing match or a fistfight.

verb

  • 1[with object] Grind or crush (something) in a mill.

    ‘hard wheats are easily milled into white flour’
    ‘freshly milled black pepper’
    • ‘By the way of a grant, the project would include a mill that would be managed by the cooperative so that farmers could be milling the sorghum for consumption.’
    • ‘Now quickly add the chives, ricotta, torta Gorgonzola and pecorino plus a seasoning of freshly milled pepper and stir until the cheese begins to melt.’
    • ‘After the husk is removed, the rice is milled to remove the bran (the brown skin just under the husk) and the germ or embryo (the life of a rice kernel which grows into a rice plant).’
    • ‘‘When you mill rice, you have about 15 percent that are broken or immature,’ says Kadan.’
    • ‘Now, instead of paying to have someone else mill their wheat, they add value to their crop by grinding and bagging it themselves.’
    • ‘Chaff is the husk of wheat and other grains; to mill the grain the chaff must be separated from the grain.’
    • ‘The sheer magnitude of the workload, from planting, harvesting and milling the cane, to boiling and curing the sugar, meant that the plantations had a huge workforce.’
    • ‘One company plans to produce organic noodles and steamed breads from wheat flour obtained by milling organic wheat.’
    • ‘They are also responsible for the family vegetable and fruit gardens and for threshing, husking, and milling the grain.’
    • ‘Mervin Austin mills his own flour using French burr stones and Derbyshire peak stones.’
    • ‘Dried lactose is milled to 100-or 200-mesh granulation and air conveyed to one of three 100,000-pound storage bins.’
    • ‘Thirteen major companies milled durum wheat in the United States in 1991 when DGP was organized, but there have been significant changes since then.’
    • ‘Brands evolved after the Civil War as a pledge of quality for newly mobile individuals who no longer had personal connections with the cobbler who made their boots or the farmer who milled their grain.’
    • ‘After the herbs are milled into powder, they're tested again.’
    • ‘Refined white flour is what's left after the nutrient-packed germ and bran are milled out of the wheat kernel.’
    • ‘At the same time, the dairymaid produced her usual six cloves of butter, repairs were made to the castle, the harvest was brought in and the grain was milled.’
    • ‘A portion of this sample was crushed and milled into a fine powder.’
    • ‘Heritage also uses freshly milled flour, purchased from a local miller, and both bakeries use a slow-rise yeast to make their bread.’
    • ‘The herbs are screened and finely milled for quick release and effectiveness in the body.’
    • ‘The export market for milling wheat into bread is worth £2bn a year to Canada.’
    grind, pulverize, powder, granulate, kibble
    grate, pound, crush, crunch, press
    comminute, triturate, bray, levigate
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Cut or shape (metal) with a rotating tool.
      ‘lathes and milling machines’
      • ‘This reminds me of one time that the chiller broke down and it took about 13 1/2 hours to put a new shaft in it because it had to be milled at a machine shop and then put in there.’
      • ‘Indeed, a small number can - and do - manufacture frames, barrels and other parts, all done the hard way on a milling machine and lathe in the shop.’
      • ‘I used a lathe to turn a steel rod into a bulletlike shape, then used a milling machine to cut away a quarter-circle wedge of the rod, leaving a sharp cutting edge.’
      • ‘Industrial accidents, too, are common, especially to people using high-speed machinery such as grinders, drills, saws, lathes or milling machines without adequate eye protection.’
      • ‘We have to remember in the 30s when most of this work was done, they didn't have CNC, just basic lathes and milling machines.’
      • ‘Who says electronic devices have to be moulded out of unyielding plastic or milled from hard metal?’
      • ‘In the early 20th century, metal mining and milling led to pollution of municipal water supplies and fish kills, and sewage was discharged untreated.’
      • ‘Other aluminum bearing applications are in heavy tooling, such as boring mills, presses, lathes, milling machines, and grinding mills, and as hydraulic pump bushings.’
      • ‘The indenter was secured into the arbor of a milling machine.’
      • ‘Every job performed is done in a single setup, which may involve milling (via live tools) as well as turning.’
      • ‘Constructing stations, mining uranium ore, milling, enriching, fabrication, decommissioning etc - are all very carbon-intensive processes.’
      • ‘Drilling for the takedown screw must be done with a milling machine, or at the minimum on a good drill press with a rigid quill.’
      • ‘It's not like a milling machine with the computer outside; the tool itself needs to be smart enough to do logic in assembly.’
      • ‘Drills, lathes, and milling machines produce metal trimmings that machine shops discard as trash or melt down for reuse.’
      • ‘Here, in sweltering heat, sparks fly as molten iron is ladled into vast bins, and ribbons of fiery metal roll through milling machines.’
      • ‘Typically, these ores have been milled and floated to produce a concentrate of higher metal grades.’
      • ‘Rob remembers that as a boy, if he did not hear the sounds of a lathe or a milling machine coming from the garage, he knew something was not normal.’
      • ‘Off to one side is a modern CNC machine center, and the lathes and milling machines are of a newer vintage.’
      • ‘Finally, the virtual stone files were released to the stonecutters for milling on their CNC machines.’
      • ‘Brad's father, a machinist by trade, introduced him to the mechanical skills of lathing and milling at age 15, and it was off to the races.’
    2. 1.2usually as adjective milled Produce regular ribbed markings on the edge of (a coin) as a protection against illegal clipping.
      • ‘It made coins with plain rather than milled or otherwise marked edges.’
  • 2mill about/around[no object] (of people or animals) move around in a confused mass.

    ‘people milled about the room, shaking hands’
    ‘the milling crowds of guests’
    • ‘At its command, students milling around the parade square sought for their places, gathering in their class lines.’
    • ‘Not far away, there's a crowd milling around a small auditorium.’
    • ‘Adam slammed on the brakes when he got a glimpse of the animals milling around in a large lot.’
    • ‘She took note of nothing for a good hour afterwards as people were still milling around.’
    • ‘The train can be jammed with local passengers, with crowds milling around on the platforms.’
    • ‘Mom led us down the stairs and into the throng of guests that were milling about the giant room.’
    • ‘The press milled around in confusion for a moment or two.’
    • ‘The dogs, losing the scent, milled about in confusion.’
    • ‘Huge crowds of teenagers are milling around outside and spilling into the park opposite.’
    • ‘All of this was happening, mind you, while the guests were milling about.’
    • ‘The extras mill around, picture-perfect huddled masses wearing scarves and winter coats fresh from wardrobe.’
    • ‘She was then promptly greeted with a crowd of people milling about and even more heat.’
    • ‘The crowd was moving, milling around with boredom as they slowly began to disperse.’
    • ‘In spite of the light drizzle, the crowd milling around a filthy mud tenement continued to swell.’
    • ‘At the party there were a few guests milling around in the kitchen.’
    • ‘About them, a flock of sheep and goats milled aimlessly.’
    • ‘People milled around, some walking around leisurely and others hurrying about their business.’
    • ‘I must say, though, that most of the pictures show a boisterous crowd of young people milling around, running in and out of traffic.’
    • ‘Scattered groups of tourists milled around the surrounding grassland, and nobody seemed to know how to enter.’
    throng, swarm, seethe, crowd, stream, surge
    View synonyms
  • 3[with object] Thicken (wool or another animal fiber) by fulling it.

Phrases

  • go (or put someone) through the mill

    • Undergo (or cause someone to undergo) an unpleasant experience.

      • ‘We were going through the mill on the side, not being able to get on and play ourselves.’
      • ‘However, their exertions in Yorkshire seemed to have caught up with them as Celtic put them through the mill from the kick-off.’
      • ‘If the band were laidback before going through the mill, they seem even more so now.’
      • ‘I thoroughly recommend it - there are times when you feel like you're going through the mill and can't verbalise what you're going through, or just plain feel empty.’
      • ‘One film had gone through the mill of mishaps and survived until it reached the edit suite.’
      • ‘All I've done is sit at a desk in a well-heated room, drinking coffee and eating chocolate, while I put Rebus through the mill for the umpteenth time.’
      • ‘The Russian doctors really put me through the mill, examining me from top to toe.’
      • ‘Seeing as my friend's just gone through the mill, I thought it would be interesting to ask him what sort of tips he would have for others thinking about selling up.’
      • ‘The sport really is going through the mill at the moment, as it goes from controversy to fresh controversy.’
      • ‘If I'd known putting you through the mill would bring about this kind of improvement, I wouldn't have wasted all that time talking.’

Origin

Old English mylen, based on late Latin molinum, from Latin mola grindstone, mill from molere to grind.

Pronunciation:

mill

/mil/

Main definitions of mill in English

: mill1mill2

mill2

noun

North American
  • A monetary unit used only in calculations, worth one thousandth of a dollar.

    • ‘A thick paper (and later a lightweight metal) coin with a round hole in the center, the mill was worth one-tenth of a cent.’
    • ‘Starting in 1933 the sales tax rate in Utah was 2% and each token was worth one mill, or a tenth of a cent.’
    • ‘I remember the mill, a piece of currency that was used for a few years near the end of World War II and just after.’

Origin

Late 18th century: from Latin millesimum thousandth part; compare with cent.

Pronunciation:

mill

/mil/