- of low intensity and reduced volume; softened: She spoke in muted tones.
Origin of muted
- silent; refraining from speech or utterance.
- not emitting or having sound of any kind.
- incapable of speech; dumb.
- (of letters) silent; not pronounced.
- Law. (of a person who has been arraigned) making no plea or giving an irrelevant response when arraigned, or refusing to stand trial (used chiefly in the phrase to stand mute).
- Fox Hunting. (of a hound) hunting a line without giving tongue or cry.
- Offensive. a person incapable of speech.
- an actor whose part is confined to dumb show.
- Law. a person who stands mute when arraigned.
- Also called sordino. a mechanical device of various shapes and materials for muffling the tone of a musical instrument.
- Phonetics. a stop.
- British Obsolete. a hired mourner at a funeral; a professional mourner.
- to deaden or muffle the sound of.
- to reduce the intensity of (a color) by the addition of another color.
Origin of mute
Examples from the Web for muted
But the softness, the muted quality in turn became an aesthetic.Digging the Gold in Dylan’s ‘Basement’
November 5, 2014
When he accepted the prize, he delivered a speech that has been unfairly ignored because his delivery was so muted.Martin Luther King’s Nobel Speech Is an Often Ignored Masterpiece
October 16, 2014
But their voices were muted by hundreds of anti-war slogans.Thousands of Russians March to End the War in Ukraine—and Topple Putin
September 21, 2014
The easily concealable and muted weapon would allow him to sneak up on his victims and get away afterward to kill again.The Loser Who Wanted to Be the ISIS Agent Next Door
September 18, 2014
Within 10 seconds, his target vanishes in a muted cloud of smoke and rubble 7,000 miles away.Ethan Hawke's 'Good Kill': A Searing Indictment of America's Drone Warfare Obsession
September 6, 2014
For the time being, conscience was muted by gratified ambition.Within the Law
Then to his ears came the most welcome soft roar of muted rockets.Pirates of the Gorm
Muted cornets, banjos and saxophones were wailing out a tom-tom adagio.Erik Dorn
There was a peculiar, throaty quality in her voice, like a muted violin or 'cello.Master of the Vineyard
“You will not be lonely,” said the unfortunate man in a muted voice.The Man Who Lost Himself
H. De Vere Stacpoole
- (of a sound or colour) softeneda muted pink shirt
- (of an emotion or action) subdued or restrainedhis response was muted
- (of a musical instrument) being played while fitted with a mutemuted trumpet
- not giving out sound or speech; silent
- unable to speak; dumb
- unspoken or unexpressedmute dislike
- law (of a person arraigned on indictment) refusing to answer a charge
- phonetics another word for plosive
- (of a letter in a word) silent
- a person who is unable to speak
- law a person who refuses to plead when arraigned on indictment for an offence
- any of various devices used to soften the tone of stringed or brass instruments
- phonetics a plosive consonant; stop
- a silent letter
- an actor in a dumb show
- a hired mourner at a funeral
- to reduce the volume of (a musical instrument) by means of a mute, soft pedal, etc
- to subdue the strength of (a colour, tone, lighting, etc)
- (of birds) to discharge (faeces)
- birds' faeces
Word Origin and History for muted
1861, in reference to musical instruments, past participle adjective from mute (v.). Figuratively by 1879. Of colors by 1939. Related: mutedness.
late 14c., mewet "silent," from Old French muet "dumb, mute" (12c.), diminutive of mut, mo, from Latin mutus "silent, speechless, dumb," probably from imitative base *meue- (cf. Sanskrit mukah "dumb," Greek myein "to be shut," of the mouth). Form assimilated in 16c. to Latin mutus.
1570s, "stage actor in a dumb show;" 1610s as "person who does not speak," from mute (adj.). Musical sense first recorded 1811 of stringed instruments, 1841, of horns.
- Unable or unwilling to speak.
- One who does not have the faculty of speech. No longer in technical use; considered offensive.