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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The court said the administration needed to put forward a justification that could pass legal muster. Greg Stohr,, "Trump administration drops fight to add census citizenship question, New York says," 2 July 2019 To pass constitutional muster, though, municipal betterments must meet accountability standards., "Should Massachusetts allow cities and towns to create Community Benefit Districts?," 13 July 2018 O’Connor noted that the Supreme Court upheld the law in 2012 because its requirement for Americans to carry health insurance was enforced through fines levied as taxes, which passed constitutional muster. Ricardo Alonso-zaldivar, The Seattle Times, "Dems cry foul as Trump calls for striking down ‘Obamacare’," 27 Mar. 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Watching the events unfold from the third-base dugout, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts understood the importance of mustering enough of an attack to make his counterpart bring Hader in, however briefly. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Brewers Send NLCS to Game 7—and Keep Their Ace Up Their Sleeve," 20 Oct. 2018 France didn’t muster a shot on target in the first half. Jeré Longman, New York Times, "How Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. Beat France at the World Cup," 28 June 2019 All 11 Republican senators extended their walkout involving the issue for a sixth day, denying Democrats enough lawmakers to muster a vote on the plan that calls for capping and trading pollution credits among companies. Sarah Zimmerman, The Denver Post, "Not enough votes for climate bill that sparked GOP walkout, Oregon senate president says," 25 June 2019 Chile only saw the ball for 28% of the match, managing to muster only one shot. Thom Craver, CBS News, "Women's World Cup: U.S. Women dominate Chile 3-0, Thailand scores a goal in defeat," 16 June 2019 Imagine, not having to muster-up the energy to stop at the store on the way home from work, and instead, find all your Target essentials waiting at your doorstep upon arrival. Tainaya Nash, House Beautiful, "Target Now Offers Same-Day Delivery For Household Items," 13 June 2019 The Wauwatosa Common Council count not muster enough votes to approve a controversial five-story, 72 unit apartment complex in the Village on Tuesday, June 19, so the rezoning and building project died on a 7-9 vote. Nicole Aimone, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wauwatosa common council rejects Harwood apartment complex; Concerns about building size, traffic halt rezoning," 20 June 2018 In other words, so long as the president can muster the support of one-third of one chamber of Congress, lawmakers are generally powerless to halt controversial arms sales to foreign powers. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "A Farewell to Arms Deals," 11 June 2019 Three minor administration posts were filled on Wednesday, and the Senate mustered four votes on motions to end debate. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "Tariff Threats Aside, the Senate Is Where Action Goes to Die," 6 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about muster

Statistics for muster

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for muster

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!