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
Related Words for dumbnesssimpleness, foolishness, slowness, denseness, mindlessness, muteness, stupidness, wordlessness
Examples from the Web for dumbness
Contemporary Examples of dumbness
This is not dumbness, or denseness, or illiteracy, but belligerent unenlightenment.Ignorant America
August 30, 2010
Historical Examples of dumbness
The dumbness that had fallen from his daughter seemed to have dropped upon him.The Scapegoat
Molly says, at length awakening to the fact of her lover's dumbness.Molly Bawn
Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
At Oxford Circus they got out, and left me pondering on deafness and dumbness.A Boswell of Baghdad
E. V. Lucas
For the sake of his hoard he had taken on himself the dumbness and deafness of a fish.The Children of Odin
In her constant living with animals she had caught their dumbness and their calm.Madame Bovary
- 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.