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 intowas 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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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

Noun a muster of concerned citizens considering the muster of suggestions that were submitted for “word of the year” Verb 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 If the measure passes muster at the council's October 13 meeting, it would be adopted and take effect in March 2021. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Berkeley poised to ban junk food in store checkout aisles," 25 Sep. 2020 The last-minute wrangling came at the end of a week in which a small group of executives worked with officials led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to make sure a proposal would pass muster with Mr. Trump. Georgia Wells, WSJ, "TikTok’s Zero Hour: Haggling With Trump, Doubts in China and a Deal in Limbo," 21 Sep. 2020 One such company is now in jeopardy after the company’s respirators failed to pass muster with federal inspectors. Winston Gieseke, USA TODAY, "In California: Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies; Snow Fire threatens Palm Springs area," 19 Sep. 2020 Carter told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis that the program passes legal muster. Steve Karnowski, Star Tribune, "St. Paul guaranteed $500 monthly income proposal hits a snag," 10 Sep. 2020 Disney’s blatantly political intent accords with the trade agreement of a $200 million international production shot in China and New Zealand that can also pass muster with the Chinese Communist Party. Armond White, National Review, "Disney’s Mulan Virus," 9 Sep. 2020 If the John Hancock still doesn’t pass muster, an attempt is made to contact the voter to validate the ballot. John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Mail-voting fraud? That’s not what keeps election officials up at night," 23 Aug. 2020 The one proposal that passed muster with the board, on a 9-6 vote, was another attempt to develop an alternative to human fetal tissue, using as a comparator fetal tissue that has already been obtained and stored in a biorepository. Meredith Wadman, Science | AAAS, "New U.S. ethics board rejects most human fetal tissue research proposals," 18 Aug. 2020 The state Supreme Court on Wednesday wrestled with whether a new state law letting the governor borrow nearly $10 billion to close budget gaps brought on by the coronavirus pandemic passes constitutional muster. USA TODAY, "Mayflower II, Space Camp saved, Oglala Sioux Tribe: News from around our 50 states," 7 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The team will have to be ready for whatever the Riverhounds throw at it, and Hackworth is preparing the players to muster their best effort up until the clock strikes zero. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville City FC preparing to host Pittsburgh in USL postseason opener," 6 Oct. 2020 But that level of self-restraint is hard to muster after four years of Trump’s sewer-dwelling political invective. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Biden Should Be Worried," 2 Oct. 2020 The bigger threat to Barrett's timely confirmation would be if Republicans could not muster enough votes for confirmation by the full Senate because proxy votes are not allowed on the floor. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "Trump and Sen. Mike Lee's positive COVID-19 tests spark worries over Amy Coney Barrett confirmation, but GOP moving forward anyway," 1 Oct. 2020 That proved to be the difference in the game as neither team could muster any more points. John Peery,, "Apopka escapes upset bid by Ocoee," 17 Sep. 2020 Addressing these issues, while coaxing fresh investment to address broad educational and economic disparities, will take more time and require greater effort than the greatest HR unit could muster. Alison Taylor, Quartz at Work, "CEOs should stop worrying and learn to love employee activism," 9 Sep. 2020 Stephen Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington, said disaffected moderates in the sprawling district could end up being the deciding votes — if Webb can muster the strategy and the resources. Meagan Flynn, Washington Post, "In a red House district, a Democrat tries to siphon votes from a conservative with a ‘biblical world view’," 23 Aug. 2020 The Rockies struggled to muster up any offense until the sixth inning when shortstop Trevor Story hit an RBI double to drive home David Dahl to cut the deficit to 5-1. Joe Nguyen, The Denver Post, "Rockies blown out, swept by Dodgers at Coors Field in MLB The Show 20," 28 May 2020 Kosovo and Serbia could not muster a joint statement. Washington Post, "The mirage of Trump’s ‘peace’ deals," 15 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for muster

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for muster

Last Updated

8 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Muster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for muster


How to pronounce muster (audio)

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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