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mute

[ myoot ]
/ myut /
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See synonyms for: mute / muted / mutely / muteness on Thesaurus.com

adjective, mut·er, mut·est.
noun
verb (used with object), mut·ed, mut·ing.
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Origin of mute

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”; see -et

usage note for mute

See dumb.

OTHER WORDS FROM mute

mute·ly, adverbmute·ness, noun

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH mute

moot, mute
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use mute in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for mute (1 of 2)

mute1
/ (mjuːt) /

adjective
noun
verb (tr)
to reduce the volume of (a musical instrument) by means of a mute, soft pedal, etc
to subdue the strength of (a colour, tone, lighting, etc)

Derived forms of mute

mutely, adverbmuteness, noun

Word Origin for mute

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

usage for mute

Using this word to refer to people without speech is considered outdated and offensive and should be avoided.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

British Dictionary definitions for mute (2 of 2)

mute2
/ (mjuːt) archaic /

verb
(of birds) to discharge (faeces)
noun
birds' faeces

Word Origin for mute

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

Medical definitions for mute

mute
[ myōōt ]

adj.
Unable or unwilling to speak.
n.
One who does not have the faculty of speech. No longer in technical use; considered offensive.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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