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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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 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 Warren has amassed letters of support from constitutional scholars who say the plan would pass muster. Jim Tankersley,, "Warren revives wealth tax, citing pandemic inequalities," 1 Mar. 2021 Lower courts have split on whether the Trump approach to the Title X family-planning program passes legal muster, and both his administration and its opponents had asked the Supreme Court to take up the issue. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Supreme Court to Review Trump-Era Policies on Family-Planning Funding, Immigration," 22 Feb. 2021 In the latest decision, the judges concluded that Harvard’s admissions process passes legal muster and meets requirements previously created by the Supreme Court. Fox News, "Appeals court clears Harvard of racial bias in admissions," 12 Nov. 2020 The Republicans argued that voting regulations should pass muster as long as voters of minority groups had an equal opportunity to vote; Democrats contended that regulations that disproportionately depress minority turnout could be violations. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Sends Mixed Signals in Voting Rights Case," 2 Mar. 2021 After the latest maneuvering failed to pass muster with the Senate parliamentarian, some progressive Congressional members, like Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar, openly shared their frustration. Michelle Cheng, Quartz, "The prospects for a $15 federal minimum wage look bleak," 26 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But convention supporters could not muster the supermajority needed to square that plan with health restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic. Washington Post, "Virginia GOP ends months-long standoff on nomination method," 13 Mar. 2021 But John Paul II could not muster any serious scoring opportunities the rest of the way. Dallas News, "TAPPS soccer championships: Wins give Covenant boys, girls TAPPS history; Grapevine Faith, Ursuline girls capture titles," 5 Mar. 2021 The first shot trains the immune system to recognize the novel coronavirus, but the second is necessary to muster a full response, solidifying the immunologic memory that was more than 90% effective at preventing illness in clinical trials. Carolyn Y. Johnson,, "US health officials say they plan to stick with two-dose coronavirus regimen," 4 Jan. 2021 Finally, intrinsic motivation is all but impossible to muster for material that feels out of reach. Lisa Damour, New York Times, "How to Do School When Motivation Has Gone Missing," 29 Oct. 2020 The Patriots roared back to cut the lead to two in the final quarter, but could only muster one field goal in the closing minutes. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "No. 2 Silver Creek beats No. 4 Heritage Hills to advance to Class 3A regional final," 14 Mar. 2021 Orlando Christian Prep went to Lakeland without a blemish on their record, and Grandview Prep could not muster enough offense or defense to be the first to hand the Warriors a loss. Adam Lichtenstein,, "Grandview Prep’s season ends with rout by Orlando Christian Prep in Class 2A state semifinals," 3 Mar. 2021 Their Andalusian visitors were nullified and couldn’t muster a single shot on goal, while Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi both got the better of Bono in the first and second halves. Tom Sanderson, Forbes, "FC Barcelona’s Stars Believe They Can Pull Off An Amazing Double Title Win," 1 Mar. 2021 That provides Biden a short respite to attend to the most pressing legislative business, and gives Trump time to muster a legal defense. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, "GOP senators appear to be divided as House readies impeachment delivery," 24 Jan. 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

31 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Muster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 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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