[ uht-er ]
See synonyms for utter on Thesaurus.com
verb (used with object)
  1. to give audible expression to; speak or pronounce: unable to utter her feelings;Words were uttered in my hearing.

  2. to give forth (cries, notes, etc.) with the voice: to utter a sigh.

  1. Phonetics. to produce (speech sounds, speechlike sounds, syllables, words, etc.) audibly, with or without reference to formal language.

  2. to express (oneself or itself), especially in words.

  3. to give forth (a sound) otherwise than with the voice: The engine uttered a shriek.

  4. to express by written or printed words.

  5. to make publicly known; publish: to utter a libel.

  6. to put into circulation, as coins, notes, and especially counterfeit money or forged checks.

  7. British Dialect. to expel; discharge or emit.

  8. Obsolete. to publish, as a book.

  9. Obsolete. to sell.

verb (used without object)
  1. to employ the faculty of speech; use the voice to talk, make sounds, etc.: His piety prevented him from uttering on religion.

  2. to sustain utterance; undergo speaking: Those ideas are so dishonest they will not utter.

Origin of utter

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English outren, uttren; cognate with German äussern “to declare”; see origin at out, -er6

Other words for utter

Other words from utter

  • ut·ter·a·ble, adjective
  • ut·ter·er, noun
  • ut·ter·less, adjective
  • un·ut·tered, adjective

Words that may be confused with utter

Other definitions for utter (2 of 2)

[ uht-er ]

  1. complete; total; absolute: her utter abandonment to grief;utter strangers.

  2. unconditional; unqualified: an utter denial.

Origin of utter

First recorded before 900; Middle English outre, utter(e), Old English uttra, ūtera “outer”; see origin at out, -er4

synonym study For utter

1. See absolute.

Other words from utter

  • ut·ter·ness, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use utter in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for utter (1 of 2)


/ (ˈʌtə) /

  1. to give audible expression to (something): to utter a growl

  2. criminal law to put into circulation (counterfeit coin, forged banknotes, etc)

  1. (tr) to make publicly known; publish: to utter slander

  2. obsolete to give forth, issue, or emit

Origin of utter

C14: probably originally a commercial term, from Middle Dutch ūteren (modern Dutch uiteren) to make known; related to Middle Low German ūtern to sell, show

Derived forms of utter

  • utterable, adjective
  • utterableness, noun
  • utterer, noun
  • utterless, adjective

British Dictionary definitions for utter (2 of 2)


/ (ˈʌtə) /

  1. (prenominal) (intensifier): an utter fool; utter bliss; the utter limit

Origin of utter

C15: from Old English utera outer, comparative of ūte out (adv); related to Old High German ūzaro, Old Norse ūtri

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