Nearby words

  1. mustard operation,
  2. mustard plaster,
  3. mustee,
  4. mustelid,
  5. musteline,
  6. muster day,
  7. muster in,
  8. muster roll,
  9. musth,
  10. mustn't


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

Can be confusedmuster mustard

Synonym study

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

British Dictionary definitions for muster in



to call together (numbers of men) for duty, inspection, etc, or (of men) to assemble in this way
  1. muster into enlist into military service
  2. muster outto discharge from military service
(tr) Australian and NZ to round up (livestock)
(tr sometimes foll by up) to summon or gatherto muster one's arguments; to muster up courage


an assembly of military personnel for duty, inspection, etc
a collection, assembly, or gathering
Australian and NZ the rounding up of livestock
a flock of peacocks
pass muster to be acceptable

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

Word Origin and History for muster in
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with muster in

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]


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.