[ myoo-tiz-uh m ]
/ ˈmyu tɪz əm /

noun Psychiatry.

an inability to speak, due to a physical defect, conscious refusal, or psychogenic inhibition.

Origin of mutism

From the New Latin word mūtismus, dating back to 1815–25. See mute, -ism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mutism

British Dictionary definitions for mutism

/ (ˈmjuːtɪzəm) /


the state of being mute
  1. a refusal to speak although the mechanism of speech is not damaged
  2. the lack of development of speech, due usually to early deafness
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

Medicine definitions for mutism

[ myōōtĭz′əm ]


Absence of the faculty of speech.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.