[ myoot ]
/ myut /
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adjective, mut·er, mut·est.
silent; refraining from speech or utterance.
not emitting or having sound of any kind.
incapable of speech (offensive when applied to humans): Animals are mute and are only able to speak in fairy tales and fables.
(of letters) silent; not pronounced: The mute “e” in the word “dime” makes the preceding vowel long, so it is not pronounced like “dim.”
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. (especially in older use) stop (def. 34b).
British Obsolete. a hired mourner at a funeral; a professional mourner.
verb (used with object), mut·ed, mut·ing.
to deaden or muffle the sound of: The music was a little muted by distance and the trees.
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.
to reduce the intensity of (a color) by the addition of another color.
to soften or subdue; moderate: His happiness about returning to the United States was muted by his concern for the other hostages.
OPPOSITES FOR mute
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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
OTHER WORDS FROM mutemute·ly, adverbmute·ness, noun
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH mutemoot, mute
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use mute in a sentence
Never did muter silence fall upon a talking group, than the sight of this matchless chapel brought on us.Paris and the Parisians in 1835 (Vol. 2 of 2)|Frances Trollope
Hir begegnet Christus seiner wirdigen lieben Muter die vor grossem hertzenleit anmechtig ward.The Story of Nuremberg|Cecil Headlam
This is then evaporated to a small bulk, placed in a Muter's graduated tube, and acidified with mineral acid.The Handbook of Soap Manufacture|W. H. Simmons
It troubled many more than King, but the members of the corps were muter than oysters.Stalky & Co.|Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for mute (1 of 2)
/ (mjuːt) /
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)
Derived forms of mutemutely, 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)
/ (mjuːt) archaic /
(of birds) to discharge (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