• synonyms


[muhf-uh l]
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verb (used with object), muf·fled, muf·fling.
  1. to wrap with something to deaden or prevent sound: to muffle drums.
  2. to deaden (sound) by wrappings or other means.
  3. to wrap or envelop in a cloak, shawl, coat, etc., especially to keep warm or protect the face and neck (often followed by up): Muffle up the children before they go out.
  4. to wrap (oneself) in a garment or other covering: muffled in silk.
  5. to alter temporarily the profile of (a plaster mold) in order to run a base coat of plaster that will later be covered by a finish coat having the true profile.
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  1. something that muffles.
  2. muffled sound.
  3. an oven or arched chamber in a furnace or kiln, used for heating substances without direct contact with the fire.
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Origin of muffle1

1400–50; late Middle English mufeln, perhaps aphetic form of Anglo-French *amoufler, for Old French enmoufler to wrap up, muffle, derivative of moufle mitten (see en-1, muff); (def 8) directly < French moufle literally, mitten
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for muffled

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Her voice was muffled, and he knew then that she was crying.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • He leaned far over and poked his finger into a muffled form.

    Good Indian

    B. M. Bower

  • On the steps, a carpet, thick and heavy, muffled his footfalls.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • There was a muffled uproar, and the few women present surrounded the poor man.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • My gentle rap upon the hollow panel was answered by a muffled sob.

British Dictionary definitions for muffled


verb (tr)
  1. (often foll by up) to wrap up (the head) in a scarf, cloak, etc, esp for warmth
  2. to deaden (a sound or noise), esp by wrapping
  3. to prevent (the expression of something) by (someone)
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  1. something that muffles
  2. a kiln with an inner chamber for firing porcelain, enamel, etc, at a low temperature
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Word Origin

C15: probably from Old French; compare Old French moufle mitten, emmouflé wrapped up


  1. the fleshy hairless part of the upper lip and nose in ruminants and some rodents
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Word Origin

C17: from French mufle, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for muffled



early 15c., "to cover or wrap (something) to conceal or protect," perhaps from Middle French mofler "to stuff," from Old French moufle "thick glove, muff" (cf. Old French enmoufle "wrapped up"); see muff (n.). Meaning "wrap something up to deaden sound" first recorded 1761. Related: Muffled; muffling.

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"thing that muffles," 1560s, from muffle (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper