murmur

noun
mur·​mur | \ ˈmər-mər How to pronounce murmur (audio) \

Definition of murmur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a half-suppressed or muttered complaint : grumbling murmurs of disapproval
2a : a low indistinct but often continuous sound a murmur of voices the murmur of the waves along the shore
b : a soft or gentle utterance the murmur of nannies cooing into baby carriages— Nancy Gibbs
3 : an atypical sound of the heart typically indicating a functional or structural abnormality The physician detected a heart murmur in his patient.

murmur

verb
murmured; murmuring; murmurs

Definition of murmur (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to make a murmur the breeze murmured in the pines

transitive verb

: to say in a murmur

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Other Words from murmur

Verb

murmurer noun

Examples of murmur in a Sentence

Noun

the murmur of the crowd The suggestion brought murmurs of disapproval. He spoke in a murmur. They spoke to each other in murmurs. the murmur of the waves along the shore

Verb

He murmured something about having to get home. “Thank you,” she murmured as she left the room. The breeze murmured in the pines.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The only sound that came from the man was a murmur of surprise, a grunt, and then his attempts at breathing as his body struggled. Paul Yoon, Harper's magazine, "Run Me to Earth," 10 Mar. 2019 After some strong murmurs, Miller interrupts, asking what is going on. PEOPLE.com, "Abby Lee Miller Screams at 14-Year-Old in Explosive Dance Moms Teaser: 'I Do Not Raise Brats!'," 11 June 2019 Cardinal DiNardo made the announcement in the first minutes of the assembly in Baltimore, amid murmurs of disquiet in the room. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "‘It Will Cause a Scandal.’ The Pope and a Trusted U.S. Cardinal Clash Over Sex-Abuse Crisis," 14 Feb. 2019 When Christy Turlington, who walked in Marc Jacobs’s seminal 1992 grunge show for Perry Ellis, glided out in an off-the-shoulder jet black frock embroidered all over with glossy feathers, murmurs of delight echoed down the rows. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Top 10 Shows of New York Fashion Week Fall 2019," 14 Feb. 2019 Visiting his son in prison, Leo is at his silken ease delivering the barest murmur of regret over Jack’s arrest for his mother’s murder, and noting that his crime was, of course, not surprising, given his delinquent nature. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Ordeal by Innocence’ Review: A Suspect in the Family," 9 Aug. 2018 On top of that, there are murmurs of new Macs, too. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "“There’s more in the making”—Apple announces October 30 event," 18 Oct. 2018 On the hardware level, strange behavior would be like trying to detect a heart murmur. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Chinese spy chips would be a ‘god-mode’ hack, experts say," 4 Oct. 2018 The resounding click-clack muffles the murmur of anticipation as the train inches up the wooden structure. Matt Blitz, Popular Mechanics, "From Death Traps to Disneyland: The 600-Year History of the Roller Coaster," 13 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The actual plot takes up about half an hour, dispersed throughout the film via tense phone calls and murmured conversations, in sparsely furnished apartments. Noel Murray, latimes.com, "Reviews: Gary Oldman in ‘Killers Anonymous’; plus ‘The 16th Episode’ and more," 27 June 2019 Elizabeth murmured as her daughter burrowed her head into the space between her neck and bare shoulder. Jennifer Egan, New York Times, "Children of the Opioid Epidemic," 9 May 2018 In one of the season’s delectably ambitious moments, the script has Bright murmuring a quick if obscure reference to Conservative MP Enoch Powell’s explosive 1968 Rivers of Blood speech. Dorothy Rabinowitz, WSJ, "‘Endeavour’ Review: Hope Meets Uncertainty," 26 July 2018 Heck asked these questions loudly in a teardown video last week, all while murmuring about how the NGM's innards seemed easy enough to reconfigure as a handheld system. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Hacker Ben Heck is back to fix the flawed Neo-Geo Mini," 20 Nov. 2018 There wasn’t an after-party scheduled for the evening but with outlaw antics fresh on guests’ minds, plans to grab late-night dinner and drinks were murmured throughout the theater. Lauren Sanchez, Vogue, "Robert Redford Thanks Blake Lively and Charms Guests at Last Night’s Premiere for The Old Man & the Gun," 21 Sep. 2018 The staffers were in the zone, quietly murmuring to themselves. Constance Grady, Vox, "Being a librarian used to be considered too dangerous a profession for women," 11 Aug. 2018 The lobby murmurs with electricity, the First Lady dolls stare expectantly from behind their glass. Leslie Kendall Dye, Longreads, "City on a Hill," 23 June 2018 There are no traces of the meadows, or the woodland murmurs the libretto refers to. Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, "Review: A Conductor Delivers a Magnificent ‘Parsifal’ at the Met," 6 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'murmur.' 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 murmur

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for murmur

Noun and Verb

Middle English murmure, from Anglo-French disturbance, from Latin murmur murmur, roar, of imitative origin

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Statistics for murmur

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for murmur

The first known use of murmur was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for murmur

murmur

noun

English Language Learners Definition of murmur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a low sound made when many people are speaking
: a quiet expression of an opinion or feeling
: speech or a way of speaking that is quiet and soft

murmur

verb

English Language Learners Definition of murmur (Entry 2 of 2)

: to say (something) in a quiet and soft voice
: to make a low, continuous sound

murmur

noun
mur·​mur | \ ˈmər-mər How to pronounce murmur (audio) \

Kids Definition of murmur

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a low faint sound the murmur of voices
2 : a quiet expression of an opinion or feeling murmurs of approval

murmur

verb
murmured; murmuring

Kids Definition of murmur (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to make a low faint sound The breeze murmured in the trees.
2 : to say in a voice too quiet to be heard clearly She murmured “thank you” as she left.

murmur

noun
mur·​mur | \ ˈmər-mər How to pronounce murmur (audio) \

Medical Definition of murmur

: an atypical sound of the heart typically indicating a functional or structural abnormality

called also heart murmur

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More from Merriam-Webster on murmur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with murmur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for murmur

Spanish Central: Translation of murmur

Nglish: Translation of murmur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of murmur for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about murmur

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