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 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

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 There are also volume buttons and a mute switch for the Hub’s always-listening microphones on the back. Dan Seifert, The Verge, "Google Home Hub review: the best digital photo frame," 22 Oct. 2018 On Wednesday, however, Trump was uncharacteristically mute. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "How Kim Jong Un got cold feet," 17 May 2018 The actor tweeted: Affleck, who’s an infrequent tweeter, had been mute since photos surfaced of him standing shirtless on a beach in Hawaii. Mark Shanahan, BostonGlobe.com, "Ben Affleck gets the last laugh on Twitter," 29 Mar. 2018 The movie stars Sally Hawkins as Elisa, a mute janitor in a government research lab in the 1960s. Gabe Cohn, New York Times, "What’s on TV Tuesday: ‘Ricky Gervais: Humanity’ and ‘The Shape of Water’," 13 Mar. 2018 After a hearing, the judge had suggested that Trump mute rather than block some of his critics. Edmund Demarche, Fox News, "DOJ appeals ruling that Trump cannot block Twitter users: report," 2 Oct. 2018 Community moderators will be on-hand at all times during Venues events, ensuring that users can block, mute or report others who are hindering their experience or violating the Oculus Code of Conduct. Lilly Milman, Billboard, "Oculus Venues Kicks Off VR Concert Series With Vance Joy Performing Live from Red Rocks," 30 May 2018 Her on-set blowups were so legendary that staffers in the newsroom would sometimes turn on the monitors and watch the unfolding drama on mute for fun. Gabriel Sherman, The Hive, "“You Don’t Attack a Kid”: Inside the Laura Ingraham Nightmare at Fox News," 5 Apr. 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

An article on Saturday about the tech community’s muted presence in the politics surrounding San Francisco’s mayoral election misstated the surname of the spokeswoman for Jane Kim, a mayoral candidate. New York Times, "Corrections: June 5, 2018," 4 June 2018 The result is a wide-ranging selection of light and neutrals as well as both muted and more saturated colors that are versatile and approachable. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "This New Company Is Cutting Out The Annoying Parts Of Painting We’ve Just Come To Accept As Normal," 6 Dec. 2018 But on the page, the violence of that scene is muted. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "How HBO’s My Brilliant Friend translates Elena Ferrante’s beloved book to TV," 20 Nov. 2018 Excitement around the 3 XL device is muted because images and video footage of the phone’s design and hardware — even an unboxing video — have been extensively leaked. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Uber’s new Toyota deal gives its self-driving car project some gas," 28 Aug. 2018 Conrad leaned heavily on Twitter and Facebook to tout the economic benefits of mining and mute the criticism of opponents. Lee Bergquist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "New group that's challenging existing environmental groups on mining in Wisconsin has Republican ties," 2 Apr. 2018 Jamilah Lemieux has about 3,000 accounts muted and blocked on social media. Ashley Velez, The Root, "Protecting Black Women and Girls Is More Important Than Your Break Up With R. Kelly," 4 July 2018 Over the coming weeks, the app is rolling out a new way to mute posts on your feed. Madeline Buxton, refinery29.com, "You Can Finally Hide Your Ex's Instagram Posts Without Unfollowing Them," 22 May 2018 The Google brass, backed into a corner, offered an official (if muted) endorsement of the event. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests," 2 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But interest was muted as the U.S., like his previous benefactors in Germany, seemed only interested in the destructive capacity of his inventions. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Saturn V Story: From Nazi Roots to America's Moon Rocket," 6 Feb. 2019 The market reaction was muted, analysts said, due to the kingdom’s recent increase in supply, alongside rising output from other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia. Stephanie Yang And Sarah Mcfarlane, WSJ, "Oil Falls on Signs of Increasing Supply," 27 July 2018 Newsletter Sign-up Trading in Asia was muted, with Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average edging down 0.1% and the Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbing less than 0.1%. David Hodari, WSJ, "U.S. Shares Finish Higher After Earnings Reports," 23 Jan. 2019 But his enemies find him there, and in the fight that ensues, B-127’s voice box is muted. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Bumblebee is basically E.T., but with a Transformer. It’s delightful!," 18 Dec. 2018 The Google brass, backed into a corner, offered an official (if muted) endorsement of the event. Casey Newton, The Verge, "The Google walkout offers a playbook for successful corporate protests," 2 Nov. 2018 The shirting is made from Sea Island cotton with real mother-of-pearl buttons, and the knitwear color story is muted, but compelling: navy, lavender, mauve, plum, gray. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Row’s Premier Menswear Collection Will Land in Stores in October," 27 Aug. 2018 Velasquez muted any speculation that De Los Santos could nudge him from the rotation by flashing a mid-90s fastball and mixing in his secondary pitches in his first start since getting hit on the forearm by a line drive June 30. Scott Lauber, Philly.com, "Phillies' Maikel Franco making a play to stay | Extra Innings," 12 July 2018 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

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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Learn More about mute

Dictionary Entries near mute

mutawalli

mutch

mutchkin

mute

muted

mute of malice

mutessarif

Statistics for mute

Last Updated

14 Feb 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

: 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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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

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