mus·​ter | \ ˈmə-stər \

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 \

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

As always, the TSA agent has the final say on whether or not the frozen item passes muster. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Bring Your Drink Through Airport Security," 25 Sep. 2018 That information would have been part of their muster drill, required by law to be performed within 24 hours of boarding. Barbara S. Peterson, Popular Mechanics, "What Went Wrong on the Costa Concordia," 14 July 2014 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Photos: Getty Images; Associated Press The Warriors compare defending a championship to climbing a mountain and trying to muster the energy to climb that same mountain again immediately afterward. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "The Houston Rockets Have a Warriors Hangover," 12 Dec. 2018 Making the idea work calls for clever diplomacy of the sort the new Italian government, in particular, may struggle to muster. The Economist, "The EU argues till dawn on migration, and achieves little," 29 June 2018 In the moments after the Royals lost a series finale in Baltimore to the Orioles on Thursday night, Royals catcher Salvador Perez sat at his locker in Camden Yards and struggled to muster a smile. Maria Torres, kansascity, "Salvador Perez’s homer off Indians’ Andrew Miller lifts Royals to a win | The Kansas City Star," 11 May 2018 Tournament organizers struggled to muster prize pools. Jessica Mendoza, The Christian Science Monitor, "Here comes the esports revolution – are video gamers the Tom Bradys of tomorrow?," 20 Mar. 2018 In some circles, her performance was seen as courageous — a show of strength that few would be able to muster and no one should have to. Kay Steiger, Vox, "8 takeaways from the knock-down, drag-out fight over Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation," 6 Oct. 2018 Not far from where the vigilantes were mustered stood the Khairabad slaughterhouse, its brick floor grooved to drain away blood. New York Times, "Killer Dogs Take 14 Lives. Did Closing Slaughterhouses Play a Role?," 22 May 2018 And would any evidence of misconduct emerge that would allow Democrats and other allies to muster votes for the president’s impeachment? Eli Rosenberg, Washington Post, "The NRA’s new president, Oliver North, is notorious for his role in an illicit arms deal," 8 May 2018 Both were only supported by Republicans but couldn’t muster enough support to pass the House because some members of the GOP voted against them. Nicholas Riccardi, The Seattle Times, "McSally accuses Sinema of backing “treason” in Senate debate," 16 Oct. 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

14 Jan 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 \

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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