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mutter

[muht-er]
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verb (used without object)
  1. to utter words indistinctly or in a low tone, often as if talking to oneself; murmur.
  2. to complain murmuringly; grumble.
  3. to make a low, rumbling sound.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to utter indistinctly or in a low tone: to mutter complaints.
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noun
  1. the act or utterance of a person who mutters.
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Origin of mutter

1325–75; Middle English moteren, perhaps frequentative of moot1 (Old English mōtian to speak); see -er6
Related formsmut·ter·er, nounmut·ter·ing·ly, adverbun·mut·tered, adjectiveun·mut·ter·ing, adjectiveun·mut·ter·ing·ly, adverb

Synonyms

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1. See murmur.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for mutter

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "No living aunt ever looked as you do now," Kitty will mutter, shaking her head.

  • I heard him mutter as he neared the boat-house where Fin and I were stowing cargo.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • I was near enough to hear him mutter: "How the devil comes this here?"

  • A shadow flitted in front of it, and he stopped to chuckle evilly and mutter.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • Gervaise entered, greatly embarrassed, not even daring to mutter an excuse.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola


British Dictionary definitions for mutter

mutter

verb
  1. to utter (something) in a low and indistinct tone
  2. (intr) to grumble or complain
  3. (intr) to make a low continuous murmuring sound
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noun
  1. a muttered sound or complaint
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Derived Formsmutterer, nounmuttering, noun, adjectivemutteringly, adverb

Word Origin

C14 moteren; related to Norwegian (dialect) mutra, Old High German mutilōn; compare Old English mōtian to speak

Mutter

noun
  1. Anne-Sophie. born 1963, German violinist
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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

Word Origin and History for mutter

v.

early 14c., moteren "to mumble," from a common PIE imitative *mut- "to grunt, mutter" (cf. Old Norse muðla "to murmur," Latin muttire "to mutter," Old High German mutilon "to murmur, mutter; to drizzle"), with frequentative suffix -er. Related: Muttered; muttering.

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n.

1630s, from mutter (v.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper