mute

adjective
\ ˈmyüt \
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 & Antonyms for mute

Synonyms: Adjective

dumb, mum, muted, silent, speechless, uncommunicative, wordless

Synonyms: Noun

damper

Antonyms: Adjective

communicative, speaking, talking

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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

Avila, who is mute, pointed to classmate Robert Garcia — who responded by jokingly placing Avila in a chokehold. Krista Torralva, San Antonio Express-News, "SAPD bike officers teach mechanics to special needs students," 15 May 2018 While Finkelstein’s office had no comment on Thursday’s development, the decision to stand mute allows the defense to proceed without appearing to claim to the public, the victims or the court that Cruz did not commit the crime. Rafael Olmeda, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Cruz withdraws not guilty plea, 'stands mute' on school shooting charges," 9 Mar. 2018 Nothing that these two mute women did for the next 40 minutes was as striking or thought-through as the setup. Brian Seibert, New York Times, "At River to River Festival, Dancing Amid the Mundane and Majestic," 17 June 2018 Instagram's Questions Sticker has only existed for 48 hours, but it's already been branded a mute-able offense. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, ""Ask Me A Question" Is Not The Only Way To Use Instagram's Questions Sticker," 12 July 2018 The fictional biography includes Castle being bullied by classmates for being deaf and mute. Washington Post, "Agreement reached to end children’s book infringement case," 27 June 2018 The most effective way to transform culture and mute divisiveness is through continued constructive dialogue. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "Hate mail reinforces the gender divide in the car business," 21 June 2018 OnePlus continues to be unique among Android handset makers in including a dedicated mute switch. Sam Byford, The Verge, "The OnePlus 6 is more than just a rebranded Oppo," 15 June 2018 The app says the mute feature is rolling out over the next couple of weeks, so look out for it in your own account. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Instagram Is Adding a Mute Button," 22 May 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

Several of the overhead fluorescent light banks are covered with a thin, blue material that mutes the harshness of the lighting for a student with sensitivity issues. Steven Goode, Courant Community, "Windsor Teacher Of The Year: I’m Not Their Ruler, I’m Their Leader," 8 June 2018 There’s also a larger array of controls for muting notifications and grouping alerts to reduce the number sent to a user. Mark Gurman, latimes.com, "Apple announces controls to help fight iPhone addiction, plus augmented reality and fitness features," 4 June 2018 The officers have also faced significant criticism for muting their body cameras after the shooting, raising suspicion among Mr. Clark’s family and friends, who have expressed their belief that the department is trying to cover up bad behavior. New York Times, "Official Autopsy of Stephon Clark Questions Earlier Findings," 1 May 2018 Erin teased the color palette for the first episode's house... Get ready for soothing shades of dusty pink, soft sage, muted teal, and warm gray. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "5 Things You Need to Know About HGTV's 'Home Town' Season 2," 28 Apr. 2017 The digital era muted that pastime; music is streamed over the internet to laptops, phones and other devices. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "When Did a Famous Guitar-Smashing Occur? One Fan of The Clash Insists Everyone Has It Wrong," 5 June 2018 Ross muted the Cardinals' final comeback chance with only one pitch as Erin Ragas hit into the game-ending double play. Hank Brady, NOLA.com, "Benton 7, Belle Chasse 3 (Game 1): Kade Bailey tosses two-hitter," 27 Apr. 2018 The two officers involved in the shooting of Stephon Clark muted their microphones following the shooting. Angela Helm, The Root, "Stephon Clark’s Younger Brother Admits Mental Distress After Brother’s Death by Police," 11 Apr. 2018 Although the shooting was recorded on the officers’ body-worn chest cameras, both muted the cameras shortly after Clark was hit. Evan Sernoffsky, San Francisco Chronicle, "Stephon Clark case doesn’t lend itself to easy answers, or quick ones," 26 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Kate Moore, Blackrock’s chief equity strategist, says trade tensions have played a major role in muting the markets. Matthew Heimer, Fortune, "Here’s What the World’s Biggest Investor Thinks the Markets Will Do Next," 9 July 2018 Several of the overhead fluorescent light banks are covered with a thin, blue material that mutes the harshness of the lighting for a student with sensitivity issues. Steven Goode, Courant Community, "Windsor Teacher Of The Year: I’m Not Their Ruler, I’m Their Leader," 8 June 2018 But the New York performer's oddball attitude was muted early on, leaving her questioning her identity. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "Dusty Ray Bottoms talks to her mom 'once a week,' dedicates post-'Drag Race' single to NYC 'haters'," 13 Apr. 2018 The two officers involved in the shooting of Stephon Clark muted their microphones following the shooting. Angela Helm, The Root, "Stephon Clark’s Younger Brother Admits Mental Distress After Brother’s Death by Police," 11 Apr. 2018 The joy of victories against Georgia and Alabama last season were muted after a loss to Georgia in the SEC championship game. Joseph Goodman, AL.com, "This A-Day Game was one for the Auburn diehards," 7 Apr. 2018 The first Pacific Rim, directed by Guillermo del Toro, was likewise muted in its North American launch, opening to $37.3 million in summer 2013. Pamela Mcclintock, Billboard, "Weekend Box Office: 'Pacific Rim Uprising' Beats 'Black Panther' With Tepid $28M in U.S.," 25 Mar. 2018 In the case of health care, consolidation has probably made things worse by muting competition. The Economist, "Which firms profit most from America’s health-care system," 15 Mar. 2018 Any fallout thus far appears to be muted as American economic growth surged in the second quarter. Don Lee, latimes.com, "U.S. and China slap big tariffs on each other, escalating trade fight," 6 July 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

History and Etymology for mute

Adjective

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

Noun

see mute entry 1

Verb (1)

see mute entry 1

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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Learn More about mute

Dictionary Entries near mute

mutawalli

mutch

mutchkin

mute

muted

mute of malice

mutessarif

Statistics for mute

Last Updated

26 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mute

The first known use of mute was in 1513

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More Definitions for mute

mute

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of mute

: not able or willing to speak

: felt or expressed without the use of words

mute

adjective
\ ˈmyüt \
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 \
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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Comments on mute

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