mute

adjective
\ 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

mute

verb (1)
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

mute

verb (2)
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

inarticulate, speechless, voiceless

Synonyms: Noun

damper

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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

His character was mentioned briefly in season four, but the mute knight was never seen on-camera ever again after the Battle of Blackwater. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Arya Stark's Kill List May Never Be Complete," 14 May 2019 But Taylor’s bill is mute on another Clean Missouri initiative, which lowers individual campaign contribution limits to $2,500 for state senate, and $2,000 for state house. Bill Turque, kansascity, "KC council members slam gift ethics plan as Jason Kander drops casual campaign video," 12 July 2018 At a time of loud sneakers, Allbirds’ three models are practically mute. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "How the ‘World’s Most Comfortable Shoe’ Is Challenging Nike and Adidas," 21 May 2018 Those elements include the clever noise canceling dial, integrated Cortana and Skype functions, and the automatic mute features. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Microsoft’s Surface chief hints at a modular Surface PC and USB-C webcam," 3 Oct. 2018 The Best Picture Oscar-winner of 2018, Guillermo Del Toro’s masterpiece is a sort of fairytale for grown-ups, about a mute woman named Eliza who works at a government facility in the 1960s. Marie Claire, "The 17 Best Movies on HBO Go to Watch Right Now," 28 Feb. 2019 In the face of mounting evidence that Hungary’s government is both undemocratic and illiberal, the Trump administration has stood mute. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Hungary, Canary in the Illiberal Coal Mine," 18 Dec. 2018 They're installed in two pairs, facing each other like mute giants trying to speak across the gaps that separate them. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Akron Art Museum celebrates lyrical abstractions of Jun Kaneko in show opening today (photos)," 17 Feb. 2018 Everyone acted so civilly this time, from LeBron James with a simple statement to the greater sports world with its anger on mute, that this latest move seemed expected more than surprising, dramatic but equally anti-climactic. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde: LeBron's decision changes L.A., East ... and Heat hopes," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

This program allows a customer to put the phone on mute and patch telemarketing calls to a robot, which understands speech patterns and inflections and works to keep the caller engaged. Christopher Mele, New York Times, "Robocalls Flooding Your Cellphone? Here’s How to Stop Them," 11 May 2017 Instead Fisher jogged into the dugout, his enthusiasm mute, akin to if this — a home-run robbery to keep a tie game intact — was routine. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros return to standard operating procedure in win over Mariners," 19 Apr. 2018 His microphone stays on mute for more than a minute before the footage ends. Anita Chabria, Emily Zenter, Ryan Lillis, Nashelly Chavez, Ellen Garrison And Molly Sullivan, sacbee, "New Stephon Clark videos raise questions about time taken to render medical aid | The Sacramento Bee," 16 Apr. 2018 Directed by Jeff Baena, the film picks up when a hunky groundskeeper (Dave Franco), who’s introduced to the wild girls as a deaf mute to keep them at bay, arrives on the premises. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘Roseanne’ and ‘Splitting Up Together’," 27 Mar. 2018 The scene Bright white walls, neon blue signage, a soccer match (Peru versus Iceland) playing on mute, and customers chatting vivaciously in Spanish. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, "Celeste in Union Square is small, loud, and happy," 5 Apr. 2018 All the while, Fox News played on mute above his head, its chyrons questioning whether Sessions was about to be fired. Molly Ball, Time, "Jeff Sessions Is Winning for Donald Trump. If Only He Can Keep His Job," 29 Mar. 2018 Standing mute has the same immediate effect as a not guilty plea — Broward Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer will most likely enter a not guilty plea on the defendant’s behalf when he is formally arraigned, a hearing scheduled for March 14. Rafael Olmeda, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Cruz withdraws not guilty plea, 'stands mute' on school shooting charges," 9 Mar. 2018 The film follows Sally Hawkins as a mute who falls for an anthropomorphized amphibian in Cold War-era Baltimore. Matt Miller, Esquire, "A Genre-Defying Love Story Between a Woman and an Amphibian Is This Year's Best Picture," 5 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There are factors that could mute the impact of the Fed’s rate increases on emerging markets. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "The Fed Won’t Save Emerging Markets," 13 Sep. 2018 Aneurysms, a stroke, prostate cancer — nothing could mute Mr. Austin’s voice. Bryan Marquard, BostonGlobe.com, "Charles Austin, groundbreaking television reporter, dead at 73," 10 Apr. 2018 Conor McGregor's over-the-top swagger disappeared in the Brooklyn courtroom, a place where his previously unchecked behavior confronted the gravity of a legal situation that muted his usual rapid-fire voice to all but three humble words. Lance Pugmire, latimes.com, "Conor McGregor beats UFC with both hands behind his back," 8 Apr. 2018 Footage from police body cameras shows the two officers fired a total of 20 shots but muted their cameras immediately afterward. Shelby Fleig, USA TODAY, "Stephon Clark killing: Coroner report differs from private autopsy of police shooting," 2 May 2018 The shooting was recorded on the officers’ chest cameras, but both muted the cameras shortly after Clark was hit. Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle, "Stephon Clark’s family calls for Sacramento police to be prosecuted," 26 Mar. 2018 Y es, Wagner was still a major player on those revered defenses, but playing middle linebacker may have muted some of the glory. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "Is Bobby Wagner the most underappreciated superstar in Seattle sports history?," 20 Feb. 2019 The ban was always controversial, and a series of court decisions muted some of its impacts. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "Foreign critics of Trump’s travel ban face a new foe: The Supreme Court," 27 June 2018 Along similar lines, the iPhone’s Do Not Disturb will now let users mute incoming notifications overnight, for an hour, or while at a specific location. Alex Fitzpatrick, Time, "The 6 Biggest New iPhone Features Apple Just Announced," 4 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At least three new body camera videos show responding officers asking whether others have muted their microphones, a move that could spark fresh criticism of the department. CBS News, "Police thought motionless Stephon Clark may be armed and "pretending," video shows," 17 Apr. 2018 At least three new body camera videos show responding officers asking whether others have muted their microphones, a move that could spark fresh criticism of the department. Kathleen Ronayne, Fox News, "Sacramento police release new video following fatal shooting," 16 Apr. 2018 Footage from police body cameras shows the two officers fired a total of 20 shots but muted their cameras immediately afterward. Shelby Fleig, USA TODAY, "Stephon Clark killing: Coroner report differs from private autopsy of police shooting," 2 May 2018 For one thing, despite Apple, earnings warnings have been muted. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Earnings: First, the Good News," 16 Jan. 2019 Meanwhile, enthusiasm for the deal has been muted, aside from some happy talk by New York’s governor and New York City’s mayor, and Virginia’s senators. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook has a growing morale problem," 15 Nov. 2018 The response from Republican lawmakers has been muted. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Leader of bin Laden raid tells Trump: revoke my clearance, too," 17 Aug. 2018 The department has since established written guidelines on when officers can mute their body cameras and has barred officers from cutting the audio without stating their reason. New York Times, "Official Autopsy of Stephon Clark Questions Earlier Findings," 1 May 2018 The new material shows officers muting their body cameras at least 16 times, raising additional questions about police actions in the final moments of Clark’s life. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: New coalition aims to improve Democratic messaging against Trump," 18 Apr. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near mute

mutawalli

mutch

mutchkin

mute

muted

mute of malice

mutessarif

Statistics for mute

Last Updated

23 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mute

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

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More Definitions for mute

mute

adjective

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

mute

adjective
\ 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.

mute

adjective
\ 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mute

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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

Comments on mute

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