mus·​ter | \ˈməs-tər \

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\ -​t(ə-​)riŋ \

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

array, assemblage, band, bank, batch, battery, block, bunch, clot, clump, cluster, clutch, collection, constellation, group, grouping, huddle, knot, lot, package, parcel, passel, set, suite

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

In fact, a separate question on nurse staffing levels met legal muster Monday. Matt Stout,, "Voters won’t be able to weigh in on the millionaires tax. How about the Legislature?," 19 June 2018 Whether that deal, which would bring together the nation’s third- and fourth-largest wireless carriers, will pass regulatory muster is far from certain. Dana Cimilluca, WSJ, "M&A Market Headed for a Record, Powered by Tech Disruption, AT&T Ruling," 1 July 2018 In the weeks ahead, Comcast and Disney are expected to work overtime to convince Fox shareholders that each will have an easier time passing regulatory muster. New York Times, "Comcast Offers $65 Billion for 21st Century Fox, Challenging Disney," 13 June 2018 If that vertical merger of distribution and content goes through, Comcast will have a more credible case that its offer could pass regulatory muster. The Economist, "Comcast and Disney battle over Rupert Murdoch’s empire," 31 May 2018 But of course there are all the other hurdles too, like passing regulatory muster and getting insurers to cover the mini medical devices. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "This Digital Pill Prototype Uses Bacteria to Sense Stomach Bleeding," 24 May 2018 The stock has mostly held those gains, even as some analysts expressed skepticism that the full data will pass muster when Biogen eventually shows it. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Fear of Missing Out Drives Stock Performance," 13 July 2018 The next feat was passing muster with the Transportation Security Administration. Denise Teter,, "For a colorectal cancer survivor on IV nutrition, airport security is another hurdle to vault," 11 July 2018 But legal analysts said the initial order was unlikely to pass muster. Ernesto Londoño,, "Judge orders Brazil to release ex-president," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But against Auburn in the national title game, the Ducks could muster only 75 yards on 32 carries in a 22–19 loss, thanks in large part to the disruptive presence of Fairley in the middle of the Tigers’ line. Ben Ladner,, "The 10 Best National Championship Game Performances of the BCS Era," 13 July 2018 All the Royals could muster was a home run from an unlikely source. Blair Kerkhoff, kansascity, "Royals waste good start by Jakob Junis against Athletics," 3 June 2018 With the release of a key report in the Tilcon gravel quarry controversy barely four months away, environmentalists are mustering opposition. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "Environmentalists Mustering Tilcon Quarry Opposition," 5 Apr. 2018 The museum obtained the men's enlistment and mustering paperwork, and regimental and company logs. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Exhibit Focuses On Locals In Civil War," 14 Mar. 2018 Erdogan likely won't muster the 51% of votes needed to skip a runoff election for the presidency, said Ilter Turan, a professor of political science at Istanbul Bilgi University. USA TODAY, "Why Turkey elections could be President Tayyip Recep Erdogan's biggest power grab yet," 16 June 2018 The only damage the Brewers could muster against Covey came in the fifth, when an error resulted in an unearned run. Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "White Sox 6, Brewers 1: String of winning series ends at six as bats go quiet in Chicago," 3 June 2018 Max Stassi annihilated a second-inning solo home run on an elevated fastball, the only damage the Astros could muster for five innings, settling this game into the sort of combat many expected. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Walkoff homer sends Indians over Astros in 14th inning," 27 May 2018 The show ends with heartbreaking, scrappy little paintings that were all that Soutine could muster while moving from place to place west of Paris, hiding after the Germans occupied the city, in June of 1940. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Vulnerable Ferocity of Chaim Soutine," 7 May 2018

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

4 Nov 2018

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 \

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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Comments on muster

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full of whispering sounds

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