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Word of the Day
Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Definitions for mussitation

  1. muttering; mumbling; murmuring.
  2. silent movement of the lips in simulation of the movements made in audible speech.

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Citations for mussitation
Not conversation by any civilized standard, but a kind of mussitation, the prisoner's half-mime half-whisper, under the nodding eye of an orderly. Jamie O'Neill, At Swim, Two Boys, 2001
Then they said, "Let us take it by stratagem; let us send one who is skilled in mussitation*, who can make black white and white black, and can give to any object whatever colour he pleases." ... *It may be proper to inform the unlearned reader, that mussitation means the same as muttering, or whispering, and is therefore a term suited to denote an art which consist in speaking obscurely and perplexedly on all subjects, and thereby darkening the clearness and plainness of genuine truth. Emanuel Swedenborg, The Apocalypse Revealed, Wherein Are Disclosed the Arcana There Foretold, Which Have Hitherto Remained Concealed, Volume II, translated from the Latin, 1791
Origin of mussitation
Mussitation, a very rare noun, derives from Late Latin mussitātiō (stem mussitātiōn-) “suppression of the voice, silence.” The sense of “moving the lips in silence but as if speaking” is a modern medical sense dating from the late 19th century. Late Latin mussitātiō derives from the Latin verb mussitāre “to speak in a low tone, grumble, take no notice of, bear silently.” Mussitation entered English in the mid-17th century.