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1

mute

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adjective \ˈmyüt\

Simple Definition of mute

  • : not able or willing to speak

  • : felt or expressed without the use of words

Full Definition of mute

mut·ermut·est

  1. 1 :  unable to speak :  lacking the power of speech

  2. 2 :  characterized by absence of speech: as a :  felt or experienced but not expressed <touched her hand in mute sympathy> b :  refusing to plead directly or stand trial <the prisoner stands mute>

  3. 3 :  remaining silent, undiscovered, or unrecognized

  4. 4 a :  contributing nothing to the pronunciation of a word <the b in plumb is mute> b :  contributing to the pronunciation of a word but not representing the nucleus of a syllable <the e in mate is mute>

mute·ly adverb
mute·ness noun

Examples of mute

  1. They hugged each other in mute sympathy.

  2. I could see a mute plea for help in his eyes.



Origin of mute

Middle English muet, mut, from Anglo-French, from mu, mute, from Latin mutus, probably from mu, representation of a muttered sound


First Known Use: 1513


2

mute

noun

Definition of mute

  1. 1 :  stop 9

  2. 2 :  a person who cannot or does not speak

  3. 3 :  a device attached to or inserted into a musical instrument to soften or alter its tone



Examples of mute

  1. <I was practicing my trumpet at three in the morning when the mute fell out, and I managed to wake everyone up.>



1530

First Known Use of mute

1530


3

mute

verb

Definition of mute

mut·edmut·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to muffle, reduce, or eliminate the sound of

  3. 2 :  to tone down :  soften, subdue <mute a color>



1883

First Known Use of mute

1883


4

mute

verb

Definition of mute

mut·edmut·ing

of a bird

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to evacuate the cloaca



Origin of mute

Middle English, from Anglo-French *meutir, short for ameutir, alteration of Old French esmeltir, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch smelten to melt, make fluid, defecate (of birds)


First Known Use: 15th century



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