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  1. a low, continuous sound, as of a brook, the wind, or trees, or of low, indistinct voices.
  2. a mumbled or private expression of discontent.
  3. Also called heart murmur. Medicine/Medical.
    1. an abnormal sound heard on listening to the heart, usually through a stethoscope, produced by the blood passing through deformed cardiac valves.
    2. in some persons a similar sound heard when blood passes through normal valves.
  4. Phonetics. a voice quality in which vibration of the vocal cords is accompanied by the escape of a great deal of air, as in the (h) of ahead; breathy voice.
verb (used without object)
  1. to make a low or indistinct sound, especially continuously.
  2. to speak in a low tone or indistinctly.
  3. to complain in a low tone or in private.
verb (used with object)
  1. to sound by murmurs.
  2. to utter in a low tone: He murmured a threat as he left the room.

Origin of murmur

1275–1325; (v.) Middle English murmuren < Latin murmurāre; (noun) Middle English < Latin
Related formsmur·mur·er, nounmur·mur·less, adjectivemur·mur·less·ly, adverbun·mur·mured, adjectiveun·mur·mur·ing, adjectiveun·mur·mur·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms for murmur

See more synonyms for on
1. grumble, susurration, mumble, complaint, mutter. 6. Murmur, mumble, mutter mean to make sounds that are not fully intelligible. To murmur is to utter sounds or words in a low, almost inaudible tone, as in expressing affection or dissatisfaction: to murmur disagreement. To mumble is to utter imperfect or inarticulate sounds with the mouth partly closed, so that the words can be distinguished only with difficulty: to mumble the answer to a question. To mutter is to utter words in a low, grumbling way, often voicing complaint or discontent, not meant to be fully audible: to mutter complaints. 7. grouse. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Historical Examples of murmured

British Dictionary definitions for murmured


  1. a continuous low indistinct sound, as of distant voices
  2. an indistinct utterancea murmur of satisfaction
  3. a complaint; grumblehe made no murmur at my suggestion
  4. med any abnormal soft blowing sound heard within the body, usually over the chestSee also heart murmur
verb -murs, -muring or -mured
  1. to utter (something) in a murmur
  2. (intr) to complain in a murmur
Derived Formsmurmurer, nounmurmuring, noun, adjectivemurmuringly, adverbmurmurous, adjective

Word Origin for murmur

C14: as n, from Latin murmur; vb via Old French murmurer from Latin murmurāre to rumble
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 murmured



late 14c., "expression of discontent by grumbling," from Old French murmure "murmur, sound of human voices; trouble, argument" (12c.), noun of action from murmurer "to murmur," from Latin murmurare "to murmur, mutter," from murmur (n.) "a hum, muttering, rushing," probably from a PIE reduplicative base *mor-mor, of imitative origin (cf. Sanskrit murmurah "crackling fire," Greek mormyrein "to roar, boil," Lithuanian murmlenti "to murmur"). Meaning "softly spoken words" is from 1670s.



late 14c., from Old French murmurer "murmur, grouse, grumble" (12c.), from murmur "rumbling noise" (see murmur (n.)). Related: Murmured; murmuring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

murmured in Medicine


  1. An abnormal sound heard on auscultation of the heart, lungs, or blood vessels.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.