Definition of Mitford from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



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the family name of six sisters, five of whom became famous for various reasons.Nancy Mitford (1904-73) wrote humorous novels about girls in upper-class families, including The Pursuit of Love (1945) and Love in a Cold Climate (1949). In 1956 she wrote an article in which she used the expressions U and non-U to describe language and behaviour that was or was not acceptable to upper-class people, and these expressions became part of the language.Jessica Mitford (1917-96) also became a writer, well known for her extreme left-wing political views. She wrote Hons and Rebels (1960) about the lives of herself and her sisters as children. She later lived in the US, where her books included The American Way of Death (1963), about the US funeral industry.Diana Mitford (1916-2003) and Unity Mitford (1914-48) became known for their fascist sympathies. Diana married the English fascist leader Oswald Mosley in 1936 and Unity became a close friend of Adolf Hitler. The youngest sister, Deborah Mitford (1920-2014), married the son of the Duke of Devonshire and became Duchess of Devonshire in 1950. She played an active part in running the family's stately home, Chatsworth, when it was opened to the public.