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See more synonyms for muzzle on Thesaurus.com
  1. the mouth, or end for discharge, of the barrel of a gun, pistol, etc.
  2. the projecting part of the head of an animal, including jaws, mouth, and nose.
  3. a device, usually an arrangement of straps or wires, placed over an animal's mouth to prevent the animal from biting, eating, etc.
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verb (used with object), muz·zled, muz·zling.
  1. to put a muzzle on (an animal or its mouth) so as to prevent biting, eating, etc.
  2. to restrain from speech, the expression of opinion, etc.: The censors muzzled the press.
  3. Nautical. to attach the cable to the stock of (an anchor) by means of a light line to permit the anchor to be pulled loose readily.
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Origin of muzzle

1350–1400; Middle English musel < Middle French < Medieval Latin mūsellum, diminutive of mūsum snout < ?


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5. silence, quiet, still, supress.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for muzzled


  1. the projecting part of the face, usually the jaws and nose, of animals such as the dog and horse
  2. a guard or strap fitted over an animal's nose and jaws to prevent it biting or eating
  3. the front end of a gun barrel
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verb (tr)
  1. to prevent from being heard or noticedto muzzle the press
  2. to put a muzzle on (an animal)
  3. to take in (a sail)
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Derived Formsmuzzler, noun

Word Origin

C15 mosel, from Old French musel, diminutive of muse snout, from Medieval Latin mūsus, of unknown origin
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 muzzled



late 14c., "device put over an animal's mouth to stop it from biting, eating, or rooting," from Old French musel "muzzle," also "snout, nose" (12c., Modern French museau), from muse "muzzle," from Gallo-Romance *musa "snout" (cf. Provençal mus, Old Spanish mus, Italian muso), of unknown origin, possibly related to Latin morsus "bite" (but OED finds "serious difficulties" with this). Meaning "projecting part of the head of an animal" is from early 15c. in English; sense of "open end of a firearm" first recorded 1560s.

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"to put a muzzle on," early 15c., from muzzle (n.). Figurative use from 1610s. Related: Muzzled; muzzling.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper