- lacking intelligence or good judgment; stupid; dull-witted.
- lacking the power of speech (offensive when applied to humans): a dumb animal.
- temporarily unable to speak: dumb with astonishment.
- refraining from any or much speech; silent.
- made, done, etc., without speech.
- lacking some usual property, characteristic, etc.
- performed in pantomime; mimed.
- Computers. pertaining to the inability to do processing locally: A dumb terminal can input, output, and display data, but cannot process it.Compare intelligent(def 4).
- (of a barge) without means of propulsion.
- (of any craft) without means of propulsion, steering, or signaling.
- dumb down, Informal. to make or become less intellectual, simpler, or less sophisticated: to dumb down a textbook; American movies have dumbed down.
Origin of dumb
Related Words for dumbestspeechless, foolish, dull, inarticulate, incoherent, mousy, mum, mute, quiet, silent, soundless, tongue-tied, uncommunicative, voiceless, wordless, dense, dim-witted, feebleminded, moronic, thick
Examples from the Web for dumbest
Contemporary Examples of dumbest
But yesterday, William played one of the dumbest moves of his life as a Prince when he officially left his job.Why Prince William is Mad To Quit The Day Job For A Full-Time Life of Ribbon-Cutting
September 13, 2013
Michael Moynihan collects five of the dumbest love letters to the departed Venezuelan comandante.The Stupidest Hugo Chávez Hagiographies From the Yanquis Who Loved Him
March 7, 2013
Jace Lacob on the show, launching Thursday, that just might be the dumbest ever on television.‘Zero Hour’: Is This the Dumbest Show Ever to Air on TV?
February 13, 2013
“I got the idea from sitting at home watching Paranormal Activity and thinking white people do the dumbest things,” said Wayans.Marlon Wayans on His Romantic ‘Haunted House’
January 10, 2013
After the campaign, a former Clark colleague blogged that I was “the dumbest person in Democratic politics.”Plight of the Republican Presidential Race’s Zombie Candidates
January 19, 2012
Historical Examples of dumbest
"Deppy, you are the dumbest creature I know," exclaimed his wife.The Man From Brodney's
George Barr McCutcheon
Oh, don't you know that family affection's the dumbest thing on earth?The Woman With The Fan
I supposed that eventually they'd pick the dumbest day laborer in the place and make him the patsy.Four-Day Planet
Henry Beam Piper
But if Zelda and these other catatonics are teaching ghosts, these ghosts are the dumbest jerks anywhere.At the Post
Horace Leonard Gold
The Grootenheimers always was the dumbest family in the township, an' Elizabeth Grootenheimer is the dumbest of 'em all!The Casting Away of Mrs. Lecks and Mrs. Aleshine
Frank R. Stockton
- lacking the power to speak, either because of defects in the vocal organs or because of hereditary deafness
- lacking the power of human speechdumb animals
- temporarily lacking or bereft of the power to speakstruck dumb
- refraining from speech; uncommunicative
- producing no sound; silenta dumb piano
- made, done, or performed without speech
- slow to understand; dim-witted
- foolish; stupidSee also dumb down
- (of a projectile or bomb) not guided to its target
Word Origin for dumb
Old English dumb "silent, unable to speak," from PIE *dheubh- "confusion, stupefaction, dizziness," from root *dheu- (1) "dust, mist, vapor, smoke," and related notions of "defective perception or wits."
The Old English, Old Saxon (dumb), Gothic (dumbs), and Old Norse (dumbr) forms of the word meant only "mute, speechless;" in Old High German (thumb) it meant both this and "stupid," and in Modern German this latter became the only sense. Meaning "foolish, ignorant" was occasionally in Middle English, but modern use (1823) comes from influence of German dumm. Related: dumber; dumbest.
Applied to silent contrivances, hence dumbwaiter. As a verb, in late Old English, "to become mute;" c.1600, "to make mute." To dumb (something) down is from 1933.