muf·​fle | \ˈmə-fəl \
muffled; muffling\ ˈmə-​f(ə-​)liŋ \

Definition of muffle 

transitive verb

1 : to wrap up so as to conceal or protect : envelop

2 obsolete : blindfold

3a : to wrap or pad with something to dull the sound muffle the oarlocks

b : to deaden the sound of

4 : keep down, suppress muffled her anger

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Synonyms & Antonyms for muffle


mute, stifle



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Examples of muffle in a Sentence

They tried to muffle the noise. I could hear their muffled voices from the next room.

Recent Examples on the Web

Christine Blasey Ford said that, at a high school party in 1982, Kavanaugh groped her, tried to undress her, and covered her mouth to muffle her screams, while Kavanaugh’s friend, Mark Judge, stood by. German Lopez, Vox, "The FBI investigation of Kavanaugh was doomed from the start," 5 Oct. 2018 Moments later, Camille muffling a scream into a pretty pink dress feels well-earned. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sharp Objects Episode 5: Adora Is Officially the Worst Mother Ever," 6 Aug. 2018 The racket inside the car amplified as the outside world was muffled by the incessant, almost angry hammering of the rain. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "What They Don't Tell You About Cross-Country Family Road Trips," 23 July 2018 On a lot of guitars, either the lower or higher strings will sound better in a particular pickup location, and some notes get muffled when playing chords. Henry Robertson, Popular Mechanics, "The New Fender Strat Still Reigns Supreme," 27 Apr. 2017 Half-closed windows pleasantly muffle the kids’ outdoor disagreements. Fluto Shinzawa,, "The soundtrack of the Tour de France," 29 June 2018 Her coffin was taken from Kew to Windsor for her burial, and the cobbled courtyard of Windsor Castle was muffled with straw, so that the king, now suffering from severe dementia, would not hear the funeral carriage of his beloved wife. Joanna Pocock,, "Romance is in the air at London's green spaces," 13 May 2018 The space is surprisingly quiet, neighborhood noise muffled by the building’s perforated metal screen as well as the towers looming outside. John King,, "S.F.’s long-awaited Salesforce Transit Center sets opening date for Aug. 12," 10 July 2018 The story unfolded slowly, calmly, its violence muffled by the confusion of its narrator, a guileless teen-age girl. Larissa Macfarquhar, The New Yorker, "Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Comes to Terms with Global Fame," 28 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'muffle.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of muffle

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for muffle

Middle English muflen

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Statistics for muffle

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for muffle

The first known use of muffle was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of muffle

: to make (a sound) quieter : to decrease the noise made by (something)

: to wrap or cover (someone or something) in clothing or cloth for warmth or protection


muf·​fle | \ˈmə-fəl \
muffled; muffling

Kids Definition of muffle

1 : to deaden the sound of muffle a cry

2 : to wrap up so as to hide or protect muffled in a coat

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Comments on muffle

What made you want to look up muffle? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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