\ ˈmyüt How to pronounce mute (audio) \
muter; mutest

Definition of mute

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : unable to speak : lacking the power of speech
2 : characterized by absence of speech: such as
a : felt or experienced but not expressed touched her hand in mute sympathy her mute hostility
b : refusing to plead directly or stand trial the prisoner stands mute
3 : remaining silent, undiscovered, or unrecognized The hounds generally hunt mute, so they can get close to the game.
4a : contributing nothing to the pronunciation of a word the b in plumb is mute
b : contributing to the pronunciation of a word but not representing the nucleus of a syllable the e in mate is mute

mute

noun

Definition of mute (Entry 2 of 4)

2 sometimes offensive : a person who cannot speak
3 : a device attached to or inserted into a musical instrument to soften or alter its tone
muted; muting

Definition of mute (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to muffle, reduce, or eliminate the sound of
2 : to tone down : soften, subdue mute a color
muted; muting

Definition of mute (Entry 4 of 4)

intransitive verb

of a bird
: to evacuate the cloaca

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Other Words from mute

Adjective

mutely adverb
muteness noun

Synonyms for mute

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of mute in a Sentence

Adjective They hugged each other in mute sympathy. I could see a mute plea for help in his eyes. Noun I was practicing my trumpet at three in the morning when the mute fell out, and I managed to wake everyone up.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective At a hypersensitive moment when even an outspoken mega-hyphenate like LeBron James goes mute from China anxiety, Carrey and Vachon conjure brutal visions of the Cultural Revolution. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Jim Carrey talks Memoirs and Misinformation, his novel about Jim Carrey," 7 July 2020 During the event, the photographer's wife managed the technology and had to pause before the ceremony and mute everyone's microphones to avoid background noise. Matt Villano, CNN, "Virtual weddings done right by couples undeterred by the pandemic," 22 June 2020 History is much more complex than carvings that remember a handful of influential men, mute monoliths above a plaque of few words. Tim Lister, CNN, "Cathartic acts of rage, or the rewriting of history? How statues became political lightning rods," 14 June 2020 The constitutional crisis, of course, continues unabated, and could worsen if Trump decides to fire his top general for having the temerity to be anything more than a mute uniform in the background. Adam Weinstein, The New Republic, "America’s Top General Isn’t That Sorry," 11 June 2020 Coaches and general managers all have mute buttons for their feeds, and they weren’t being pressed. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Give us unscripted laughs, dogs and crazy uncles, NFL Draft," 23 Apr. 2020 Cruz stood mute last year when he was asked for a plea — refusing to admit or deny guilt. Rafael Olmeda, sun-sentinel.com, "Parkland shooter can’t keep visitor list secret," 15 Aug. 2019 One driver tried changing the audio sources, hitting the mute button, and turning off the system's power. Eric Tingwall, Car and Driver, "Our Ram 1500 Shines as a Luxurious, Go-Anywhere Snow Machine," 28 Jan. 2020 With their devices on mute, many members held up their hands in the shape of a heart to communicate support for whoever was speaking. Sarah Klein, Health.com, "People Living With Chronic Pain Are Turning to This Support Group for Help," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Doctor's warning: Try watching on mute if the play-by-play from Rob Riggle and Joe Tessitore causes your ears to bleed. Bill Keveney, USA TODAY, "Lava, tag and mini-golf: Ranking summer's reality TV games for escapist fun in difficult times," 14 July 2020 Valtierra, who has attended numerous galas online, has noticed the etiquette of staying on mute for work spills over into social time. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, "All these Zoom birthdays and weddings are fine, but will we actually savor the memories?," 10 July 2020 The first step is to take advantage of the controls that are within apps and sites, such as block, mute and report. Megan Marples, CNN, "Some cyberbullies show signs of PTSD, according to a UK study," 24 June 2020 But after midnight, on my laptop, Guimarães flipped over one named card and then another and another and another and another until each window showed one or more spectators, collectively losing their minds on mute. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Is the Hand Quicker Than the Zoom Window?," 15 May 2020 Version seven, featuring the dazzling Venezuelan singer Ahyvin Bruno, may be their best yet—a Cuban son, an Afro-Caribbean style, on which Stroink and Boltó play trumpet and trombone with cup mutes. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "The Boys Making Beautiful Quarantine Songs on a Barcelona Rooftop," 25 Mar. 2020 It's got Mad Max: Fury Road vibes all over it, minus a mute Tom Hardy. Bianca Rodriguez, Marie Claire, "'Parasite' Is Coming to Hulu," 3 Apr. 2020 One 2016 survey found that as much as 85% of all video views on Facebook were with the sound off, and a 2019 study showed that the vast majority of videos consumed on mobile devices are watched on mute. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "How Deaf Advocates Won the Battle for Closed Captioning and Changed the Way Americans Watch TV," 16 Mar. 2020 Many forgot to hit mute when their teachers were talking, making things a bit chaotic at first. Karen Weise, New York Times, "Remote Learning Comes to America as Coronavirus Shuts Schools," 10 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Unable to mute his phone, the judge rescheduled the hearing for Aug. 21, with the restraining order remaining in place. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "Dallas-bred filmmaker Shane Carruth accused of abusing ex-girlfriend Amy Seimetz," 29 July 2020 People are asked to mute their phones until their name is called. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, "Maricopa County justice courts experience 'new norm' with COVID-19," 7 July 2020 Ladd has had to mute comments and remove posts to keep the dialogue civil. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "‘To hike or not to hike?’ Pacific Crest Trail can’t escape coronavirus debate," 4 July 2020 And someone else forgot to mute their phone before using the bathroom (no apology followed). Morgan Marietta, The Conversation, "Supreme Court phoning it in means better arguments, more public engagement," 9 June 2020 Other council members appeared shocked and angry over the mayor’s decision to mute the city manager’s mic. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "Late-night Dallas City Council session offered first glimpses of police reform, but bickering stole the show," 6 June 2020 At one point, Goldstein had to ask the other members of the call to mute their phones. Cassandra Gauthier, CBS News, "14-year-old pleads guilty in Tessa Majors case," 3 June 2020 What kind of discourse is that which mutes from the start, which turns every disagreement into a fight to the death, which provides no opportunity for anyone to learn from their failures? Soraya Roberts, Longreads, "A Crying Public Shame," 14 Mar. 2020 A few years ago, Facebook even developed a feature called Take A Break, which effectively mutes someone for a set period of time. Anthony Pinter, The Conversation, "Even after blocking an ex on Facebook, the platform promotes painful reminders," 3 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Unable to mute his phone, the judge rescheduled the hearing for Aug. 21, with the restraining order remaining in place. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "Dallas-bred filmmaker Shane Carruth accused of abusing ex-girlfriend Amy Seimetz," 29 July 2020 People are asked to mute their phones until their name is called. Lauren Castle, The Arizona Republic, "Maricopa County justice courts experience 'new norm' with COVID-19," 7 July 2020 Ladd has had to mute comments and remove posts to keep the dialogue civil. Gregory Thomas, SFChronicle.com, "‘To hike or not to hike?’ Pacific Crest Trail can’t escape coronavirus debate," 4 July 2020 And someone else forgot to mute their phone before using the bathroom (no apology followed). Morgan Marietta, The Conversation, "Supreme Court phoning it in means better arguments, more public engagement," 9 June 2020 Other council members appeared shocked and angry over the mayor’s decision to mute the city manager’s mic. Hayat Norimine, Dallas News, "Late-night Dallas City Council session offered first glimpses of police reform, but bickering stole the show," 6 June 2020 At one point, Goldstein had to ask the other members of the call to mute their phones. Cassandra Gauthier, CBS News, "14-year-old pleads guilty in Tessa Majors case," 3 June 2020 The rabbi muted us and began proceedings in accordance with Rick’s Jewish faith. Beth Spotswood, SFChronicle.com, "Zoom funerals provide genuine setting for grief during pandemic," 6 May 2020 Its cast of a half-dozen imaginary activists (fighting for what, we’re never told) appeared and vanished from the grid, overlapping and interrupting each other, muting and unmuting — everyone battling for screen time, vying to lead the leaderless. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, "Covid-era opera is getting more intimate, accessible and experimental," 6 May 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mute.' 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 mute

Adjective

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

1883, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mute

Adjective, Noun, and Verb (1)

Middle English muet, mut, from Anglo-French, from mu, mute, from Latin mutus, probably from mu, representation of a muttered sound

Verb (2)

Middle English, from Anglo-French *meutir, short for ameutir, alteration of Old French esmeltir, of Germanic origin; akin to Middle Dutch smelten to melt, make fluid, defecate (of birds)

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Time Traveler for mute

Time Traveler

The first known use of mute was in the 15th century

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Statistics for mute

Last Updated

21 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mute. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for mute

How to pronounce mute (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of mute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not able or willing to speak
: felt or expressed without the use of words

mute

noun

English Language Learners Definition of mute (Entry 2 of 2)

sometimes offensive : a person who cannot speak
: a device on a musical instrument (such as a trumpet) that makes its sound much softer
\ ˈmyüt How to pronounce mute (audio) \
muter; mutest

Kids Definition of mute

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : unable or unwilling to speak The shy boy sat mute through class.
2 : felt or expressed without the use of words He touched her hand in mute sympathy.

mute

noun

Kids Definition of mute (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a person who cannot or does not speak
2 : a device on a musical instrument that deadens, softens, or muffles its tone

mute

verb
muted; muting

Kids Definition of mute (Entry 3 of 3)

: to soften or reduce the sound of We muted our voices.
\ ˈmyüt How to pronounce mute (audio) \
muter; mutest

Medical Definition of mute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: unable to speak : lacking the power of speech

Other Words from mute

muteness noun

mute

noun

Medical Definition of mute (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who cannot or does not speak

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More from Merriam-Webster on mute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mute

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mute

Spanish Central: Translation of mute

Nglish: Translation of mute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mute for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mute

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