- silent; refraining from speech or utterance.
- not emitting or having sound of any kind.
- incapable of speech; dumb.
- (of letters) silent; not pronounced.
- 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).
- Fox Hunting. (of a hound) hunting a line without giving tongue or cry.
- Offensive. a person incapable of speech.
- an actor whose part is confined to dumb show.
- Law. a person who stands mute when arraigned.
- Also called sordino. a mechanical device of various shapes and materials for muffling the tone of a musical instrument.
- Phonetics. a stop.
- British Obsolete. a hired mourner at a funeral; a professional mourner.
- to deaden or muffle the sound of.
- to reduce the intensity of (a color) by the addition of another color.
Origin of mute
Examples from the Web for muteness
Rhoda, with a sign, tempered him to muteness, and the three eyed one another.Rhoda Fleming, Complete
So, in her muteness, Esther accepts the Brandon God and people as hers.Red as a Rose is She
Fleda paid this statement the homage of a minute's muteness.The Spoils of Poynton
Plunged in their discussions, the others were a long while in remarking his muteness.Pierre and Luce
By these last words Edward Henry was confounded, even to muteness.The Regent
E. Arnold Bennett
- not giving out sound or speech; silent
- unable to speak; dumb
- unspoken or unexpressedmute dislike
- law (of a person arraigned on indictment) refusing to answer a charge
- phonetics another word for plosive
- (of a letter in a word) silent
- a person who is unable to speak
- law a person who refuses to plead when arraigned on indictment for an offence
- any of various devices used to soften the tone of stringed or brass instruments
- phonetics a plosive consonant; stop
- a silent letter
- an actor in a dumb show
- a hired mourner at a funeral
- 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)
- (of birds) to discharge (faeces)
- birds' faeces
Word Origin and History for muteness
late 14c., mewet "silent," from Old French muet "dumb, mute" (12c.), diminutive of mut, mo, from Latin mutus "silent, speechless, dumb," probably from imitative base *meue- (cf. Sanskrit mukah "dumb," Greek myein "to be shut," of the mouth). Form assimilated in 16c. to Latin mutus.
1570s, "stage actor in a dumb show;" 1610s as "person who does not speak," from mute (adj.). Musical sense first recorded 1811 of stringed instruments, 1841, of horns.
- Unable or unwilling to speak.
- One who does not have the faculty of speech. No longer in technical use; considered offensive.