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

Similarities appear on the top with six preset buttons, an array of microphones, play and pause control, volume control, input switchers and a microphone mute button. Jacob Krol, CNN Underscored, "Bose opens preorders for its tiny, but mighty, Home Speaker 300," 5 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Squads of trumpeters and trombonists, outfitted in combat gear and wearing mutes like auxiliary weapons, scampered up and down the darkened aisles. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Karlheinz Stockhausen Composes the Cosmos," 17 June 2019 That helps avoid the desire to go on mute and have side conversations. Jenna Schnuer, Fortune, "Turn Remote Worker Pains Into Possibilities With a Pairing of Tech and Talk," 15 June 2019 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Inflation has remained muted through much of the economy's 10 year expansion, which Powell has said cited as a justification for potentially lowering rates. CBS News, "Dow 27,000! A new high for blue-chip index, but stocks still face strains," 11 July 2019 Inflation has remained muted through much of the economy’s 10-year expansion, which Powell has said cited as a justification for potentially lowering rates. Alex Veiga, The Denver Post, "Dow Jones industrials cross 27,000 points for first time," 11 July 2019 The president’s comments about her debate performance were muted. Gary Abernathy, Twin Cities, "Gary Abernathy: No one makes Trump as unsteady as Kamala Harris does," 7 July 2019 The economic response to a cut could be muted, though. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Fed Stimulus Just Ain’t What It Used to Be," 17 June 2019 Inflation has been consistently muted, slightly below or near the Federal Reserve’s target of 2 percent even though the economy is poised in July to set the record for the longest expansion in US history. BostonGlobe.com, "Bain Capital raises $900 million for life sciences fund," 13 June 2019 That high was muted by the apparent injury to Kevin Durant’s Achilles tendon in the second quarter, after Durant was omnipresent in his return to the court for the first time in a month. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Here's why the Cincinnati Reds' deal for Yasiel Puig was not bad," 8 June 2019 In the measured remembrance of a documentary, the emotional highs and lows are muted. Kerry Lengel, azcentral, "In 'Pavarotti' documentary, Ron Howard hits high notes but skimps on drama," 5 June 2019 Trump's victory is muted by a federal ruling in California last month that blocked construction of key sections of the wall. CBS News, "Judge rejects House Democrats' request to block Trump's border wall funding," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Putting together a deep eight-man rotation will ultimately yield better returns than adding a star whose impact will be muted. The Si Staff, SI.com, "Who Should the Lakers Target as Their Third Star?," 28 June 2019 Allowing multifamily affordable housing in single-family neighborhoods could mute that criticism. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "Can mayor and SF supervisors make nice to build more affordable housing?," 21 June 2019 The controversy muted only after Wilson won a Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 1979 for On Human Nature, his popularized version of Sociobiology. Quanta Magazine, "In Ecology Studies and Selfless Ants, He Finds Hope for the Future," 15 May 2019 But now, as the culture engages in a deep reckoning with this problem, that muted response feels wrong, if not complicit. Elissa Strauss, CNN, "Why boys love guns, and what to do about it," 12 Mar. 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 economic response to a cut could be muted, though. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Fed Stimulus Just Ain’t What It Used to Be," 17 June 2019 Inflation has been consistently muted, slightly below or near the Federal Reserve’s target of 2 percent even though the economy is poised in July to set the record for the longest expansion in US history. BostonGlobe.com, "Bain Capital raises $900 million for life sciences fund," 13 June 2019 That high was muted by the apparent injury to Kevin Durant’s Achilles tendon in the second quarter, after Durant was omnipresent in his return to the court for the first time in a month. Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Here's why the Cincinnati Reds' deal for Yasiel Puig was not bad," 8 June 2019

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

20 Jun 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

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