The term dumb as a descriptor for someone lacking the ability to speak was once common, and from the early 19th century, it featured in the names of schools and advocacy organizations. In that same century, however, rejection of the term by the population it aimed to describe began, and by the end of the 20th century, the offensiveness of dumb was widely recognized. When a single term to describe someone who lacks the ability to speak is called for, the adjective mute is used instead.
Examples of dumb in a Sentence
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dumb.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.