mus·​ter | \ ˈmə-stər How to pronounce muster (audio) \

Definition of muster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a representative specimen (see specimen sense 1) : sample musters of goods for sale
2a : an act of assembling specifically : formal military inspection Call out the troops to stand muster.
b : critical examination slipshod work that would never pass muster
c : an assembled group : collection a muster of biographical factsTime
d : inventory were sent … to take the musters of this expedition— G. R. Elton


mustered; mustering\ ˈmə-​st(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce mustering (audio) \

Definition of muster (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to cause to gather : convene
b : to enroll formally usually used with in or into was mustered into the army
c : to call the roll of
2a : to bring together : collect
b : to call forth : rouse
3 : to amount to : comprise

intransitive verb

: to come together : congregate

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Synonyms & Antonyms for muster

Synonyms: Noun

assemblage, assembly, conference, congregation, convocation, gathering, ingathering, meeting

Synonyms: Verb

marshal (also marshall), mobilize, rally

Antonyms: Verb

demob [chiefly British], demobilize

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Choose the Right Synonym for muster


summon, call, cite, convoke, convene, muster mean to demand the presence of. summon implies the exercise of authority. was summoned to answer charges call may be used less formally for summon. called the legislature into special session cite implies a summoning to court usually to answer a charge. cited for drunken driving convoke implies a summons to assemble for deliberative or legislative purposes. convoked a Vatican council convene is somewhat less formal than convoke. convened the students muster suggests a calling up of a number of things that form a group in order that they may be exhibited, displayed, or utilized as a whole. mustered the troops

Examples of muster in a Sentence


a muster of concerned citizens considering the muster of suggestions that were submitted for “word of the year”


They pushed the car with all the strength they could muster. a command to muster the troops
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Journalistic standards practiced by the Post_but also by other newspapers_would not pass muster among today’s respected practitioners of the profession. Washington Post, "AP BOOK EXCERPT: The ‘Enemy of the People’," 1 Sep. 2019 Carnival Cruise Line's Fantasy cruise ship did not pass muster when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control inspected the vessel in July, with the CDC finding brown water coming from shower hoses and bread and bagels with flies on them. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Carnival Fantasy cruise ship fails inspection by federal health officials," 12 Aug. 2019 But these are just beauty marks to Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips of Pennsylvania, which searches for potatoes that don’t pass muster or meet chip manufacturers’ standards. Ann Trieger Kurland,, "Ugly potatoes make yummy chips," 30 July 2019 The group engaged high-powered local attorneys to help draft language that would pass constitutional muster and a bill was presented to the state legislature and then passed in early 1969. Peter Krouse,, "Civic leaders in Indianapolis used window of opportunity to birth “Unigov”: Cleveland 2030, A Way Forward," 9 July 2019 Kavanaugh provided four reasons for the Court’s conclusion that Flowers’ latest trial didn’t pass constitutional muster. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "SCOTUS reverses Curtis Flowers’ quadruple murder conviction on racist jury selection," 21 June 2019 But analysts said the merger is likely to pass muster with anti-trust regulators. Washington Post, "A decade after a split, the Marlboro men seek a reunion," 27 Aug. 2019 The July inspection is the worst in the cruise liner's history, with Fantasy getting a 77 out of 100, below the 85 score needed to pass muster with the CDC and lower than the ship's previous low of 78 in 1990. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Carnival Fantasy cruise ship fails inspection by federal health officials," 12 Aug. 2019 Two dozen others failed to pass muster with the Maryland computer matchmaking service formally known as the Species Survival Plan of the American Zoological Association. Steve Rubenstein,, "Baby penguins make their waddling debut at SF Zoo," 27 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The bill failed because Republicans could not muster the two-thirds vote needed to end a filibuster and bring the bill to a vote. Washington Post, "SC to consider abortion ban; bill faces uncertain future," 10 Sep. 2019 Yet simple extensions of the status quo on those items may be all that Congress can muster. Fortune, "Congress Is Back. Here’s What’s on Its To-Do List," 9 Sep. 2019 But The Woodlands answered with Janecek under center after starting quarterback Ben Mills and the offense couldn't muster a first down in two possessions. Angel Verdejo, Houston Chronicle, "The Woodlands rolls past Lamar for first win," 6 Sep. 2019 Nostalgia for rock‘n’roll is nostalgia for a youth culture that could still muster some energy. Judy Berman, Time, "Review: Norman F---ing Rockwell! Is Lana Del Rey's Darkest—And Greatest—Album Yet," 30 Aug. 2019 After the Oilers couldn’t muster any offense, the Gators benefited from another high Huntington Beach snap that resulted in a 12-yard punt setting them up at the Huntington Beach 27. Daily Pilot, "Huntington Beach football can’t hold onto early lead, drops opener to Green Valley," 23 Aug. 2019 In September, Cave’s cartoon monsters will parade from the toney South End into Uphams Corner on the back of a flatbed truck, shining all the spotlight Cave can muster on a community more used to being ignored. Globe Staff,, "Inflatable cartoon monsters feel like ‘a form of protest’ at South End’s Cyclorama," 8 Aug. 2019 Toomey and Manchin have tried to pass a background check bill since 2013, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting, and could not even muster a Senate vote last year. Matthew Daly, Twin Cities, "After shootings, Congress again weighs gun violence response," 5 Aug. 2019 All but one of the 15 members of the Assembly Health Committee— where Monning could not muster the required eight votes— accepted campaign contributions from the soda industry during the last two years. Patrick Mcgreevy,, "How ‘Big Soda’ used its clout to stop 5 of 5 California laws to regulate sugary drinks," 3 July 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for muster


Middle English mustre, from Anglo-French mostre, monstre, from mustrer


Middle English mustren to show, muster, from Anglo-French mustrer, monstrer, from Latin monstrare to show, from monstrum evil omen, monster — more at monster

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Statistics for muster

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for muster

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

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More Definitions for muster



English Language Learners Definition of muster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a formal military gathering to examine or test soldiers



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

: to work hard to find or get (courage, support, etc.)
: to gather together (a group of people, soldiers, etc.) especially for battle or war


mus·​ter | \ ˈmə-stər How to pronounce muster (audio) \

Kids Definition of muster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a formal gathering of military troops for inspection
2 : an act of careful examination or consideration to determine whether something is acceptable or good enough Your excuses will not pass muster.


mustered; mustering

Kids Definition of muster (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to call together (as troops) for roll call or inspection
2 : to bring into being or action I shall await your arrival with all the eagerness I can muster.— E. B. White, Stuart Little

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More from Merriam-Webster on muster

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with muster

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for muster

Spanish Central: Translation of muster

Nglish: Translation of muster for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of muster for Arabic Speakers

Comments on muster

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


to fake an opponent out of position

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