pass muster,
    1. to pass a cursory inspection.
    2. to measure up to a certain standard; be adequate: Your grades don't pass muster.

Origin of muster

1250–1300; Middle English mostren (v.) < Old French mostrer < Latin mōnstrāre to show, derivative of mōnstrum portent; see monster



Related forms

pre·mus·ter, verb (used with object)un·mus·tered, adjective

Can be confused

muster mustard

Synonym study

1. See gather. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for muster in


/ (ˈmʌstə) /



Word Origin for muster

C14: from old French moustrer, from Latin monstrāre to show, from monstrum portent, omen
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

Idioms and Phrases with muster in (1 of 2)

muster in

Enlist in military service. For example, They were mustered in at Fort Dix. The antonym is muster out, meaning “to leave or be discharged from military service,” as in He was mustered out and given a dishonorable discharge. [First half of 1800s]

Idioms and Phrases with muster in (2 of 2)


In addition to the idiom beginning with muster

  • muster in

also see:

  • pass muster
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.