mute swan


Definition of mute swan

: a common white swan (Cygnus olor) that produces no loud notes, is native to Europe and western Asia, and has been introduced into parts of the U.S.

Examples of mute swan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

For five days every summer, the royal family participates in Swan Upping, or the annual census of mute swans on the River Thames. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Inside the Royal Family’s Oddest Tradition: Swan Upping," 17 July 2018 The Crown owns all mute swans (the most common of three local species) found on open water in the U.K. as part of a tradition dating back to the 12th century. Erin Hill,, "The Queen's Swans May Have Been Killed by Bird Flu Outbreak at Harry and Meghan's Wedding Site," 5 Feb. 2018 There is a legend that the mute swan was introduced to Britain by Richard I in the 12th century, who brought them back from his campaigns during the Crusades. Emily Cleaver, Smithsonian, "The Fascinating, Regal History Behind Britain’s Swans," 31 July 2017 The guilds are some of the richest and most powerful organizations in London, and since at least the 15th century have been granted the right to own mute swans on the Thames. Emily Cleaver, Smithsonian, "The Fascinating, Regal History Behind Britain’s Swans," 31 July 2017

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

1785, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of mute swan was in 1785

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to boil down or concentrate

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