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View synonyms for mute

mute

[ myoot ]

adjective

, mut·er, mut·est.
  1. silent; refraining from speech or utterance.

    Antonyms: talkative

  2. not emitting or having sound of any kind.
  3. incapable of speech (offensive when applied to humans):

    Animals are mute and are only able to speak in fairy tales and fables.

  4. (of letters) silent; not pronounced:

    The mute “e” in the word “dime” makes the preceding vowel long, so it is not pronounced like “dim.”

  5. Law. (of a person who has been arraigned) making no plea or giving an irrelevant response when arraigned, or refusing to stand trial (used chiefly in the phrase to stand mute ).
  6. Fox Hunting. (of a hound) hunting a line without giving tongue or cry.


noun

  1. Offensive. a person incapable of speech.
  2. an actor whose part is confined to dumb show.
  3. Law. a person who stands mute when arraigned.
  4. Also called sordino. a mechanical device of various shapes and materials for muffling the tone of a musical instrument.
  5. Phonetics. (especially in older use) stop ( def 34b ).
  6. British Obsolete. a hired mourner at a funeral; a professional mourner.

verb (used with object)

, mut·ed, mut·ing.
  1. to deaden or muffle the sound of:

    The music was a little muted by distance and the trees.

  2. to turn off (a microphone, a speaker, or audio):

    During the commercials, they muted the TV and discussed the game.

    Check the mic icon to make sure you're not muted.

  3. to reduce the intensity of (a color) by the addition of another color.
  4. to soften or subdue; moderate:

    His happiness about returning to the United States was muted by his concern for the other hostages.

mute

1

/ mjuːt /

verb

  1. (of birds) to discharge (faeces)


noun

  1. birds' faeces

mute

2

/ mjuːt /

adjective

  1. not giving out sound or speech; silent
  2. unable to speak; dumb
  3. unspoken or unexpressed

    mute dislike

  4. law (of a person arraigned on indictment) refusing to answer a charge
  5. phonetics another word for plosive
  6. (of a letter in a word) silent

noun

  1. a person who is unable to speak
  2. law a person who refuses to plead when arraigned on indictment for an offence
  3. any of various devices used to soften the tone of stringed or brass instruments
  4. phonetics a plosive consonant; stop
  5. a silent letter
  6. an actor in a dumb show
  7. a hired mourner at a funeral

verb

  1. to reduce the volume of (a musical instrument) by means of a mute, soft pedal, etc
  2. to subdue the strength of (a colour, tone, lighting, etc)

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Sensitive Note

See dumb.

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Usage

Using this word to refer to people without speech is considered outdated and offensive and should be avoided. The phrase profoundly deaf is a suitable alternative in many contexts

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Derived Forms

  • ˈmuteness, noun
  • ˈmutely, adverb

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Other Words From

  • mute·ly adverb
  • mute·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of mute1

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English muet, mewet, muwet, from Old French müet, muet, diminutive formation of Old French mu, from Latin mūtus “dumb, inarticulate”; -et

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Word History and Origins

Origin of mute1

C15: from Old French meutir, variant of esmeltir, of Germanic origin; probably related to smelt 1and melt

Origin of mute2

C14: muwet from Old French mu, from Latin mūtus silent

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Example Sentences

Face-swapped onto an actor, it muted the actor’s expressions.

The limits of a mute buttonTrump has made unpredictability part of his political brand, which Schroeder pegged as the source for many of the current debate challenges.

With the launch of Soundtrack by Twitch, music will be separated into its own audio channel so creators can play the tracks without being worried about muting or receiving strikes against their channel.

The feature, which has been in development over the past year, is meant to not only make it easier to find rights-cleared music, but also to address the ongoing issues creators face with having their archives muted.

Overall, consumer spending will be muted this holiday season compared with last year, making it paramount for brick-and-mortar retailers to be at the top of their e-commerce game.

From Fortune

Holmes played a similar mute role in her marriage to Cruise.

Should Courage give up her war profiteering and settle down to run an honest pub—even if it means abandoning her mute girl?

The same thing happens when her mute daughter, the sweet Kattrin, is shot as she tries to warn a hamlet of impending slaughter.

There had already been a documentary on the case that aimed to do just that, as if killing the messenger would mute the message.

I presume most Republicans will be clever enough to mute impeachment talk before November.

There was a pause, during which Blanche went through a little mute exhibition of amazement and pleasure.

Her face wore a look of distress, almost of alarm; she kept her place, but her eyes gave Bernard a mute welcome.

The unmarked e represents the French é, as the e mute is unknown to the Provençal.

He has not courage to proceed; he is mute with grief; he awaits the dreadful recital, and the audience awaits it also.

And straightway I saw that the insect stretched forth its slender arm toward Heaven; mysterious, mute, earnest, it was praying.

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mut dashmuted