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 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

New York has chosen to concoct a convoluted payroll tax-deduction scheme that the IRS is suggesting won’t pass legal muster. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Albany’s Millionaire Tax Revolt," 18 July 2018 Assuming the game passes muster, it's boxed up for shipping to one of Stern's customers—whether in the U.S. or around the world. Peter Rugg, Popular Mechanics, "Inside America's Last Great Pinball Factory," 27 Mar. 2017 Apparently, the applications aren't grammatically coherent enough to pass muster at the USPTO. Marci Robin, Allure, "Olivia Jade’s Beauty Brand Trademark Application May Be Rejected Over Grammatical Errors," 28 Mar. 2019 For jurists, the most important decision the high court may make is whether that approach passes muster. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Accepts First Gun Case in Nearly a Decade," 22 Jan. 2019 Even Western State’s dedicated building for criminal-competency patients — completed in 2020 — might not pass muster with current national hospital standards. Joseph O’sullivan, The Seattle Times, "Inslee unveils $675 million plan to reverse crisis in Washington’s mental-health system," 12 Dec. 2018 Many ETFs are too new and too small to pass muster with the gate keepers at big brokerage firms. Asjylyn Loder, WSJ, "Vanguard Aims to Prove Feel-Good Investing Can Deliver Feel-Good Returns," 2 Oct. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

One day, Amira mustered up the courage to send Johannes a message on Facebook. Anna Lekas Miller, Marie Claire, "The Surprising Upside For Female Refugees," 17 Dec. 2018 One gauge says it all: A program that mustered a total of eight Southeastern Conference wins (against 46 losses) in three seasons had as many SEC victories (against six losses) going into its game on Tuesday against Mississippi. Vahe Gregorian, kansascity, "Dud against Ole Miss must jolt Mizzou | The Kansas City Star," 21 Feb. 2018 The Eagles were held hitless in Game 3 while Jesuit mustered five base knocks, two of which were RBI-singles by Alex Watermeier for the games only runs in the first and fourth innings. Josh Preston,, "Jesuit 2, Shaw 0 (Game 3): Andrew Cashman's no-hitter sends Blue Jays to quarterfinals," 29 Apr. 2018 Talking about it this morning, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was only able to muster the glum resolution of a man contemplating a vegan hotdog. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Dems face big loss, big opportunity with Kavanaugh," 10 July 2018 Fultz, finally mustering up the courage to shoot the dice in the board game, promptly breaks Joel Embiid’s character’s face. Ej Smith,, "'Game of Zones' pokes fun at Sixers Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz in latest episode," 24 May 2018 In a class taught by none other than Vladimir Nabokov, Marty was once the only student who could muster a correct answer about Dickens. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Late Husband, Marty, Helped Her Reach Her Potential," 23 Feb. 2019 In better news for the beleaguered British leader, a leading pro-Brexit lawmaker acknowledged that the rebels haven’t mustered the numbers for a leadership challenge. Jill Lawless, The Seattle Times, "May gets rebellion reprieve, but faces warning from allies," 20 Nov. 2018 However, the most telling stat about Zaha is that in nine matches without him, Roy Hodgson's side couldn't even muster a point., "Crystal Palace Star Wilfried Zaha Offered Massive New Contract to Ward Off Interest From Spurs," 20 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

6 May 2019

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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 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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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).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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