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

Use of a church photocopier passed muster, but only because the candidates had prepaid for copies by contributing to a church fund. Jonathan Handel, Los Angeles Times, "Film school’s ties with Matthew Modine face scrutiny in heated SAG-AFTRA election," 21 Aug. 2019 Deutsche Bank, which last year did not pass the Fed’s muster, was able to pass with no issues this year. Washington Post, "Banks announce billions in share buybacks after Fed approval," 27 June 2019 The company’s co-founder and CEO Spencer Curry and grant writer Alexandra Berrio partnered with Smith to make sure the grant application passed muster on the federal level. Denise Coffey,, "Thompson Snags $81K USDA Aquaponics Grant," 7 Aug. 2019 However, considering cash as a haven from the growing pile of low- or negative-yielding debt simply doesn’t pass muster. Brian Chappattabloomberg, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: Money-market funds won’t keep you safe from negative yields," 7 Aug. 2019 That amount would be in line with what passed muster with the Alaska House of Representatives last week. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska Senate will again debate dividend on Monday," 29 July 2019 The state relied on its authority to set standards more stringent than the federal government’s based on a waiver from federal law that has been in place for nearly half a century and passed muster with federal courts. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: In climate deal with automakers, California finds solution to Trump — ignore him," 25 July 2019 Health care industry consultant Jessica Smith said CMS might be taking additional time to make sure the audit protocol can pass muster. Kaiser Health News,, "Medicare knows about $30 billion in overbilling but refunds prove elusive," 20 July 2019 City officials said the site plan would have to pass muster with several municipal departments and bodies before approval is given. Bob Sandrick,, "Catanzarite can move forward with nursing home-rehab center in southern Strongsville," 15 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As assured as the presentation was here, the concert was also scrappy in that way the Stones alone among their peers can muster. Los Angeles Times, "The Rolling Stones at the Rose Bowl: Rock stars rolling out of bed into history," 23 Aug. 2019 Considering the crisis on our sidewalks, neither argument against the villages passes muster. Heather Knight,, "‘They’re getting it done’: What SF can learn from Seattle on housing, homelessness," 16 Aug. 2019 Upon the call to duty, the members of the inactive militia would muster and bring all their firearms and ammunition to the muster point, providing their armament for supplementary use by the active militia. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Establish a ‘well-regulated militia’ in every city, county," 11 Aug. 2019 The plan would muster up an additional $5 million for roads -- the same roads Baldwin County school buses would be on -- and guarantee $40 million for the schools. Lily Jackson |, al, "Baldwin County Schools recognized nationally for construction funding plan," 30 July 2019 These solutions aren’t easy: Some require political momentum that the country may not be able to muster. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Teens are increasingly depressed, anxious, and suicidal. How can we help?," 11 July 2019 But Garrett was a major reason the Redskins’ mostly first-teamers mustered only 14 yards on their first drive before punting from their own 35. Mary Kay Cabot,, "Baker Mayfield makes quick work of Redskins and Mack Wilson grabs 2 picks in Browns 30-10 win in 1st preseason game," 8 Aug. 2019 Beginning at noon, the Colchester Continentals participated in a parade and muster with other fife and drums corps from around the state. Melanie Savage,, "Colchester Lions Host Craft Show And Muster," 7 Aug. 2019 In tests, JPMorgan Chase found that Persado’s machine-learning tool crafted better ad copy than its own writers could muster, as measured by the higher click rates—more than double in some case—on digital ads for Chase cards and mortgages. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "JPMorgan Chase has an AI copywriter that writes better ads than humans can," 7 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

26 Aug 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).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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