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 Yang’s campaign could argue that this passes legal muster because the raffle is a part of his campaign. Dareh Gregorian, NBC News, "Andrew Yang's 'big' surprise is big bucks," 13 Sep. 2019 In Gundy, all four liberal Justices, in a plurality opinion by Justice Elena Kagan, hewed to the prevailing approach, finding that Congress provided enough guidance limiting the agency’s discretion to pass constitutional muster. Jeannie Suk Gersen, The New Yorker, "The Supreme Court Is One Vote Away from Changing How the U.S. Is Governed," 3 July 2019 Journalistic standards practiced by the Post_but also by other newspapers_would not pass muster among today’s respected practitioners of the profession. Washington Post, "AP BOOK EXCERPT: The ‘Enemy of the People’," 1 Sep. 2019 Carnival Cruise Line's Fantasy cruise ship did not pass muster when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control inspected the vessel in July, with the CDC finding brown water coming from shower hoses and bread and bagels with flies on them. Kate Gibson, CBS News, "Carnival Fantasy cruise ship fails inspection by federal health officials," 12 Aug. 2019 But these are just beauty marks to Dieffenbach’s Potato Chips of Pennsylvania, which searches for potatoes that don’t pass muster or meet chip manufacturers’ standards. Ann Trieger Kurland,, "Ugly potatoes make yummy chips," 30 July 2019 The group engaged high-powered local attorneys to help draft language that would pass constitutional muster and a bill was presented to the state legislature and then passed in early 1969. Peter Krouse,, "Civic leaders in Indianapolis used window of opportunity to birth “Unigov”: Cleveland 2030, A Way Forward," 9 July 2019 Kavanaugh provided four reasons for the Court’s conclusion that Flowers’ latest trial didn’t pass constitutional muster. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "SCOTUS reverses Curtis Flowers’ quadruple murder conviction on racist jury selection," 21 June 2019 But analysts said the merger is likely to pass muster with anti-trust regulators. Washington Post, "A decade after a split, the Marlboro men seek a reunion," 27 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Left-hander Dietrich Enns couldn’t get out of the fourth and the powerful Chihuahuas couldn’t muster any extra-base hits in a 5-0 loss at Sacramento that officially eliminated El Paso from playoff contention. Jeff Sanders, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Minors: Chihuahuas bounced from playoff push," 2 Sep. 2019 In fact, the Nazis could not muster the breakthroughs necessary to achieve the nuclear weapons Einstein and his fellow physicists feared. Trevor Lipscombe, Time, "Einstein Feared a Nazi Atom Bomb—But Immigrants Made Sure the U.S. Got There First," 2 Aug. 2019 Next week: Off; next game Sept. 26 vs. Navy Brady White had three total touchdowns, with Kenny Gainwell and Kylan Watkins going over 100 yards each on the ground, and South Alabama could only muster 248 yards of offense. Scooby Axson,, "Week 4 College Football Power Rankings: Clemson Further Proves ACC Dominance," 16 Sep. 2019 Taking over at the Moravian 28 after a fumble recovery but mustered just nine more yards before Peyton Denlinger hit a 36-yard field goal with 8:52 showing for a tie game. Carroll County Times Staff,, "College Football: Late score lifts McDaniel past Moravian for 2-0 start," 14 Sep. 2019 On another level, the title refers to mustering the courage to receive treatment and share one’s honest vulnerabilities with people who care about you. Michael Cavna, Washington Post, "Raina Telgemeier became a hero to millions of readers by showing how uncomfortable growing up can be," 12 Sep. 2019 Garcia plays the mob ringleader who has overtaken the Florida hotel that is the battleground for this tale about a disillusioned World War II veteran who must muster the inner strength to take on another formidable enemy. Los Angeles Times, "The best theater to see in L.A. this fall," 11 Sep. 2019 Parliament was recalled in 1640 to deal with the problems, but soon the monarch and Parliament argued about who was in control of the army being mustered to put down the rebellions. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Artifacts from the Final Battle of the English Civil War Uncovered During Road Project," 5 Sep. 2019 Aguiar-Curry needed 54 votes for her constitutional amendment, but could only muster practically untouchable. George Skelton, The Mercury News, "Skelton: Proposition 13 is a political third rail in California," 27 Aug. 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.

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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

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for muster

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

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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

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).


not being in agreement or harmony

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