- the mouth, or end for discharge, of the barrel of a gun, pistol, etc.
- the projecting part of the head of an animal, including jaws, mouth, and nose.
- a device, usually an arrangement of straps or wires, placed over an animal's mouth to prevent the animal from biting, eating, etc.
- to put a muzzle on (an animal or its mouth) so as to prevent biting, eating, etc.
- to restrain from speech, the expression of opinion, etc.: The censors muzzled the press.
- Nautical. to attach the cable to the stock of (an anchor) by means of a light line to permit the anchor to be pulled loose readily.
Origin of muzzle
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for muzzle
Biden is such a straight shooter that pundits say he needs a muzzle.Roland Martin: America, You Can’t Handle the Truth!
Roland S. Martin
January 19, 2014
Suddenly, the darkness came alive with muzzle flashes and tracer rounds.From PTSD to Prison: Why Veterans Become Criminals
July 28, 2013
The result of the back-and-forth was guaranteed national publicity for the very ideas the politicians wanted to muzzle.‘The Gatekeepers,’ Brooklyn College BDS Forum: Week of Israel Debate
February 8, 2013
He pointed the muzzle at Jones and pulled the trigger, shooting him in the head with a fatally real bullet.As More Kids Die, Handguns Still a Bigger Threat Than Assault Rifles
January 29, 2013
Mueller might even have been accused to being party to a plot to muzzle Petraeus regarding the mess in Benghazi.Exclusive: Paula Broadwell’s Emails Revealed
November 12, 2012
He whirled to receive the muzzle of a revolver in his stomach.Way of the Lawless
And Yates, taking the weapon by the muzzle, tossed it as far as he could into the field.In the Midst of Alarms
Five of our ships were engaged muzzle to muzzle with five of the French.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
Suddenly he dropped the muzzle of the pistol and, pale as a sheet, turned to his second.A Hero of Our Time
M. Y. Lermontov
The gun was loaded, and filled nearly to the muzzle with slugs.Homeward Bound
James Fenimore Cooper
- the projecting part of the face, usually the jaws and nose, of animals such as the dog and horse
- a guard or strap fitted over an animal's nose and jaws to prevent it biting or eating
- the front end of a gun barrel
- to prevent from being heard or noticedto muzzle the press
- to put a muzzle on (an animal)
- to take in (a sail)
Word Origin and History for muzzle
late 14c., "device put over an animal's mouth to stop it from biting, eating, or rooting," from Old French musel "muzzle," also "snout, nose" (12c., Modern French museau), from muse "muzzle," from Gallo-Romance *musa "snout" (cf. Provençal mus, Old Spanish mus, Italian muso), of unknown origin, possibly related to Latin morsus "bite" (but OED finds "serious difficulties" with this). Meaning "projecting part of the head of an animal" is from early 15c. in English; sense of "open end of a firearm" first recorded 1560s.
"to put a muzzle on," early 15c., from muzzle (n.). Figurative use from 1610s. Related: Muzzled; muzzling.