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 muster (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

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 Will the return on investment be enough to pass muster with local voters, especially with other state and local tax increases on the horizon? Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Is the San Diego ‘Grand Central Station’ worth the cost?," 30 Apr. 2021 Any compromise on qualified immunity would have to pass muster with progressives and civil rights groups, who see it as vital to reversing decades of discrimination and brutality toward Black Americans. Maeve Reston And Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Hopes rise for a police reform compromise, but huge political hurdles loom," 22 Apr. 2021 These would-be state laws would prevent cops from enforcing federal laws, which might pass constitutional muster, technically, maybe, perhaps. Arkansas Online, "Not nullification," 3 Apr. 2021 Even as the biggest studios such as Disney, Paramount and Universal go out of their way to make apolitical movies that will pass muster with regulators, they can still get caught up in controversy. Washington Post, "Fearful of political criticism, China won’t show the Oscars live," 3 Apr. 2021 Other observers note that any reduction in IRS revenue likely would need to be paired with a federal cannabis tax to pass muster. oregonlive, "Oregon’s billion-dollar weed economy faces new challenges," 1 Apr. 2021 So can more modular housing units pass muster at City Hall despite union objections? Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, "S.F. finds a way to build homeless housing cheaper and faster. A powerful opponent is fighting it," 20 Mar. 2021 In Pennsylvania, where a slew of lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies challenging Biden's electoral victory failed to pass muster in the courts, Republicans are now targeting the methods by which judges in the state are elected. Olivia Rubin, ABC News, "'A direct response': How Trump's 2020 loss is dictating the future of elections in battleground states," 19 Mar. 2021 The rule changes still must pass muster with the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which meets April 22. Creg Stephenson |, al, "College football could tweak overtime rules again in hopes of shortening games," 12 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb An offense that had produced at least 10 hits in seven of its last 10 games could muster just five Saturday night — half its number of strikeouts (10). Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Oregon State baseball falls 2-0 to UCLA, as Beavers’ cold bats spoil Cooper Hjerpe’s dominant start," 2 May 2021 But Madrigal could only muster a slow roller to shortstop on Urena's slider, ending the threat. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "How resiliency and grounders guided Jose Urena, Detroit Tigers to win vs. Chicago White Sox," 27 Apr. 2021 Joe Musgrove could barely muster the willpower Friday night, so desperately needing to use the bathroom. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Joe Musgrove, the kid who grew up a Padres fan, gives San Diego its first no-hitter," 10 Apr. 2021 Well, needless to say, the film fell short of those expectations and could only muster two noms -- for visual effects and production design -- and none, incredibly, for sound. cleveland, "2021 Oscar nominations: 10 of the biggest surprises, snubs," 15 Mar. 2021 Neither team could muster much office in the third quarter, but White Plains was able to push its lead to 27-19 heading into the final period. Reports, al, "Saturday Hoops Highlights: Clay-Chalkville runs past Muscle Shoals in 6A subregional," 20 Feb. 2021 In nearly every case, though, the U.S. can muster a convincing defense. Anand Gopal, The New Yorker, "America’s War on Syrian Civilians," 14 Dec. 2020 Only Washington can muster the kind of national response needed to confront a rising China, for example, or to effectively distribute millions of coronavirus vaccines. Gerald F. Seib, WSJ, "Far From Washington, Americans Are Finding Local Solutions," 11 Dec. 2020 Democrats can muster 51 votes without the GOP given Vice President Kamala Harris's tiebreaking role in the evenly divided chamber. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Biden's 'infrastructure' package sets tax trap for Democrats with few 'pay-for' alternatives," 14 Apr. 2021

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 entry 1

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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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Muster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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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