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 The governor’s office will determine if those plans pass muster, and if so, allow counties to start reopening as early as May 15. oregonlive, "Oregon reopening starts May 15 under governor’s coronavirus plan," 7 May 2020 So far, the FDA has granted authorization to 11 antibody tests, meaning their methods, materials and accuracy passed muster with agency regulators. NBC News, "FDA tightens rules on antibody tests after false claims, accuracy problems," 29 Apr. 2020 Served alongside a fresh green salad tossed with a citrusy vinaigrette, this slab pie is a weeknight all-star sure to pass muster with everyone at the table. Campbell's, Bon Appétit, "3 Dishes That’ll Help You Find Comfort in the Kitchen," 24 Apr. 2020 That means that any outdoor exercise that involves close contact with others outside your household—like group runs, rides or hikes, or group sports like soccer or basketball—doesn’t pass muster during this time. Christa Sgobba, SELF, "Is Exercise Outside Safe as Coronavirus Continues to Spread?," 6 Apr. 2020 In the strictest interpretation, even legal protests staged during the past year might not pass muster. Suzanne Sataline, The Atlantic, "The Other China Emergency," 25 Mar. 2020 But the Supreme Court ruled that this 1990 law didn't pass muster under the 14th Amendment. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Supreme Court rules states are immune from copyright law," 24 Mar. 2020 However, in the unlikely event that states started openly flouting copyright law, Congress might be able to pass a new law that would pass constitutional muster. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Supreme Court rules states are immune from copyright law," 24 Mar. 2020 Critics continue to harangue those transparency efforts, particularly with how the Sheriff’s Office determines which applicants pass muster. Thy Vo, The Mercury News, "Concealed guns probe: Records confirm big donor to Santa Clara County sheriff’s campaign was issued rare concealed weapons permit," 19 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Demonstrators again mustered at Detroit Public Safety Headquarters Saturday about 4 p.m. and began marching. Meredith Spelbring, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit leaders say suburban troublemakers, not national groups, spoiled peaceful rally," 31 May 2020 First, activists who were tired of losing to the oil lobby in Congress decided to attack the industry’s ability to expand, mustering opposition to such things as pipelines and fracking wells. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "Are We Past the Peak of Big Oil’s Power?," 28 May 2020 If the United States had mustered the same kind of political and public will against the virus on March 1, the researchers found, 54,000 fewer Americans would have lost their lives to the illness. Teo Armus, Anchorage Daily News, "Social distancing a week earlier could have saved 36,000 American lives, study says," 21 May 2020 Now, can the city’s spray paint brigade help muster more participation? Molly Glentzer, Houston Chronicle, "New Houston area murals promote 2020 Census," 19 May 2020 Biden could only muster $2.4 million for ads in Super Tuesday states, less than the $17.7 million Sanders spent and the $243 million of ad buys from Michael Bloomberg, according to Advertising Analytics, but the lack of spending didn’t hurt him. Bill Allison,, "Biden’s Money Boom Just Getting Going, Fundraisers Say," 13 May 2020 Viola Davis, in another masterclass performance, delivers just about every ounce of humanity that character can muster, especially during a powerful monologue about the death of her son. Ben Flanagan |, al, "Our favorite Southern moms in movies and TV," 9 May 2020 There is no effort at the federal level that has mustered anything like the funding, coordination, or real resources that experts across the political spectrum say is needed to safely reopen the county. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, "There’s Only One Way Out of This Mess," 8 May 2020 The defense failed once again in the second overtime after ND’s offense could only muster a field goal. Tyler James, Indianapolis Star, "Recounting Notre Dame football's wildest games of the last 30 years," 2 May 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

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Muster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jun. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on muster

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for muster

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with muster

Spanish Central: Translation of muster

Nglish: Translation of muster for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of muster for Arabic Speakers

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