adjective, dumb·er, dumb·est.
- (of a barge) without means of propulsion.
- (of any craft) without means of propulsion, steering, or signaling.
Origin of dumb
Examples from the Web for dumbly
Contemporary Examples of dumbly
I dumbly mentioned it and it was obviously done in a joking manner, but everyone was like, “So, did you collect on the bet?”Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill on ‘22 Jump Street,’ Penis Kissing, and Julie Andrews’s Boobs
June 10, 2014
Historical Examples of dumbly
The men were too astonished to reply, but gazed at her dumbly.Hetty's Strange History
Dumbly she caught her breath, waiting for the bawling out she'd earned.Tree, Spare that Woodman
The old man, leathery-faced, with a fine yellow moustache, looked at him dumbly.Dream Town
Renouard, his hand grasping the back of a chair, stared down at him dumbly.Within the Tides
She had looked at him, dumbly, and he had rushed away, leaving her unforgiven.Glory of Youth
- slow to understand; dim-witted
- foolish; stupidSee also dumb down
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.