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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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

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 In addition, the NCAA is poised to contend that some of the players’ legal theories do not pass muster. Michael Mccann,, "Should the NCAA Be Worried About the Lawsuit It's Facing From Former Louisville Players?," 12 July 2018 But legal experts said the initial order was unlikely to pass muster. New York Times, "Judge Orders Brazil to Release Ex-President Lula, Setting Off Legal Uproar," 8 July 2018 The Constitutional Tribunal, the court that determines if legislation passes legal muster, was the first put under the party’s control. Monika Scislowska,, "Poland’s chief justice plans to disregard retirement order," 4 July 2018 The Constitutional Tribunal, the court that determines if legislation passes legal muster, was the first put under the party’s control. Monika Scislowska, The Seattle Times, "Protests in Poland against government judicial overhaul," 3 July 2018 Just as satisfying were a coleslaw that tasted as if it were made seconds before, and perfect, thin French fries that would easily pass muster at the snootiest Parisian bistro. Tim Smith,, "Stanford Kitchen a welcome addition to Owings Mills dining scene," 5 July 2018 The department would grant loan forgiveness on a sliding scale based on former students' earnings compared with those of graduates of comparable programs that passed government muster. Michael Hiltzik,, "A federal court gives defrauded Corinthian College students a victory over Betsy DeVos," 29 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Top-ranked and defending champion Germany lost and Brazil, Portugal, Argentina and Switzerland only mustered draws. Glenn Graham,, "Early hits and misses at the 2018 World Cup," 20 June 2018 The Fightins’ comeback attempt with two outs in the ninth, down 8-3, only mustered two runs. Nick Tricome,, "Phillies minor league report: IronPigs cruise past Pawtucket behind Mitch Walding, Collin Cowgill," 17 June 2018 Megan Rose: On January 17th, 1968, Muns failed to show up to muster, which is morning roll call. Jonathan Leach, CBS News, "NCIS agents vow to solve "unsolvable" cold case and restore a sailor's honor," 29 May 2018 The series, starring Pretty Little Liars alum Lucy Hale, could only muster a 0.1 rating among adults 18-49 and 400,000 on its highest-ranking Wednesday night. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, "What Matters in Hollywood Today," 31 Mar. 2018 But his design for a sports stadium could only muster a silver. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Meet Walter Winans, the Ultimate Two-Event Olympic Medalist," 24 Feb. 2018 After only mustering five points, all on free throws, in the first half, Collier took charge single-handedly outscoring the Bulldogs 12-11 in the third quarter. Jack Carney, Indianapolis Star, "IHSAA girls basketball: Brownsburg pressures its way to Hendricks County title game," 5 Jan. 2018 The new senators, in conjunction with an improbable alliance of otherwise feuding opposition parties, together mustered enough votes to defeat the PML-N’s candidate for chairman of the senate. The Economist, "Pakistan’s army is using every trick to sideline Nawaz Sharif," 21 June 2018 That kind of effort marked Washington’s first 40 minutes, as the Golden Knights mustered just 13 shots on net. Sam Donnellon,, "Capitals move within two games of Stanley Cup with 3-1 win over Golden Knights," 2 June 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

12 Aug 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

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


the setting in which something occurs

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