adjective \ˈdəm\

Definition of DUMB

a :  lacking the human power of speech <dumb animals>
b of a person often offensive :  lacking the ability to speak
:  temporarily unable to speak (as from shock or astonishment) <struck dumb with fear>
:  not expressed in uttered words <dumb grief>
:  silent; also :  taciturn
:  lacking some usual attribute or accompaniment; especially :  having no means of self-propulsion <a dumb barge>
a :  lacking intelligence :  stupid
b :  showing a lack of intelligence <asking dumb questions>
c :  requiring no intelligence <dumb luck>
:  not having the capability to process data <a dumb terminal> — compare intelligent 3a
dumb·ly \ˈdəm-lē\ adverb
dumb·ness noun

Usage Discussion of DUMB

There is evidence that, when applied to persons who cannot speak, dumb has come to be considered offensive.

Examples of DUMB

  1. I'm not dumb enough to believe that.
  2. It was a dumb idea in the first place.
  3. He just stood there with a dumb grin on his face.
  4. This is one of the dumbest TV shows I've ever seen.
  5. It was dumb luck that we found this place at all.
  6. His success is just a matter of dumb luck.
  7. He was born deaf and dumb.

Origin of DUMB

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German tumb mute
First Known Use: before 12th century



Definition of DUMB

transitive verb
:  to make silent :  deaden <would lie around, dumbed by the drugs — Norman Mailer>

Examples of DUMB

  1. <the terrible news dumbed her for a long moment, and then she burst into tears>

First Known Use of DUMB


Related to DUMB


adjective \ˈdəm\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of DUMB

:  lacking the human power of speech <dumb animals>
of a person often offensive :  lacking the ability to speak
dumb·ly \ˈdəm-lē\ adverb
dumb·ness noun
May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
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