See also: mormon, mormón, mórmon, and Mórmon

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Etymology edit

From the title of the chief work of Joseph Smith the Book of Mormon. Followers of his religious movement were called this since the 1830s.[1] The title of the book comes from the name from the prophet whom they believe compiled it, called Moroni, and/or the Waters of Mormon mentioned in it.[2]

Some have suggested that name of Moroni was a play by the 14 year old Joseph Smith on the word moron, but that term was not used before 1910. Other implausible etymologies have been proposed, usually in attempts to discredit or defend the Mormon faith.[3]

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Proper noun edit


  1. In Mormonism, an ancient American prophet who compiled the Book of Mormon.

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Noun edit

Mormon (plural Mormons)

  1. (originally derogatory, sometimes proscribed) A believer in the Mormon religion, which views Joseph Smith as a prophet of God and holds the Bible and the Book of Mormon as its primary scriptures.
    Synonyms: Latter-day Saint, LDS

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Descendants edit

  • Hopi: moomona
  • Fijian: momani
  • Samoan: Mamona
  • Hawaiian: Moramona
  • Portuguese: mórmon
  • Spanish: mormón
  • Japanese: モルモン

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Adjective edit

Mormon (not comparable)

  1. (sometimes proscribed) Of, or pertaining to, the faith established by Joseph Smith, Jr.

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References edit

  1. ^ An early use is in the title of the 1839 Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons, Or Latter Day Saints, from the State of Missouri.
  2. ^ Within the Book of Mormon, the waters are said by the book to have been named by "the king" (taken in context to be King Noah).
  3. ^ See Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, volume 13 (2015, →ISBN. The most prominent pro-Mormon etymology is the one, suggested in an 1834 Times and Seasons letter, that the term derives from English more + a supposed Egyptian *mon (good), which, however, modern scholarship considers figurative at best — see Paul Y. Hoskisson, What's in a Name? Mormon part 1 (Insights 32/2, 2012) and part 2 (Insights 32/3, 2012). Matthew Bowen suggested that the name derives from Egyptian mr(j) (to love, desire). On the anti-Mormon side, Eber D. Howe suggested in 1834 that "The English word Mormon [...] is the English termination of the Greek word, "Mormoo," which we find defined in an old obsolete Dictionary "bug-bear, hob-goblin, raw head, and bloody bones"; Hoskisson writes that "almost any knowledgeable reader, even in 1834, would have recognized that this definition is not only fabricated but downright silly." An anonymous editorialist wrote in 1841 that "[In] the reformed Egyptian tongue, [...] Mormon [is] a writer of wicked, absurd, fictitious nonsense, for evil purposes, to make sorcerors", which the Interpreter calls "laughable".