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
plural mutes

Definition of mute (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : a device attached to or inserted into a musical instrument to soften or alter its tone
3 dated, offensive : a person who lacks the ability to speak

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

Synonyms: Noun

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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 Yet even mute wooden logs and beams appear to teem with life in Nakashima’s art, whose depths are historical as well as stylistic. Washington Post, "In the galleries: Face to face with a world both beautiful and horrific," 16 Apr. 2021 Curator José-Luis Blondet is the invisible ventriloquist, speaking through the selection and juxtaposition of mute objects. Los Angeles Times, "Review: LACMA reopens with six shows that hint to what the future museum will be like," 1 Apr. 2021 LaKeith Stanfield played a brainwashed man in Get Out, a mute philosopher in Atlanta, and a code-switching telemarketer hunted by Armie Hammer in Sorry to Bother You, all before securing a therapist. Zoe Haylock, Vulture, "Judas and the Black Messiah Had LaKeith Stanfield Looking for a Therapist," 12 Feb. 2021 The proprietors stand like statues under their white tents: mute, listless characters in a mise en scène. Jhumpa Lahiri, The New Yorker, "Casting Shadows," 8 Feb. 2021 This seemingly minor feature sets the K669B apart from the budget competition — the Razer Seiren Mini has no controls at all, and the HyperX SoloCast has only a mute button. Michael Andronico, CNN Underscored, "The best computer microphones of 2021," 2 Apr. 2021 Bob’s still on mute, your camera won’t work, or the connection is bad. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Why It Feels So Good to Chat About Vaccines," 29 Mar. 2021 If this is when Gonzaga finally wins its first title, would the team’s win feel historic in a year when college basketball has been played as if on mute? Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "Gonzaga May Miss March’s Madness," 2 Mar. 2021 Daniel Kaluuya, the first winner of the evening for his role in Judas and the Black Messiah, was stuck on mute and nearly had his acceptance speech skipped entirely. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "This Year’s Golden Globes Were the Wrong Kind of Mess," 1 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That includes the mute switch, the volume buttons, and the SIM tray. Jacob Siegal, BGR, "iPhone 13 Pro Max leak points to major camera upgrades," 16 Apr. 2021 Meeting attendees are often off camera or are on camera looking bored and even visibly frustrated while on mute. Dave Macleod, Forbes, "From A Cascade Mindset To A Networked One," 12 Apr. 2021 These consisted of Burdick’s demonstrating vocal exercises or singing passages and everyone else following along on mute. New York Times, "The Skagit Valley," 8 Apr. 2021 As there are no in-line remotes here, all the controls are on the device including an on/off button, mic mute button and a volume wheel. Antony Leather, Forbes, "Corsair HS70 Bluetooth Headset Review: Nintendo Switch Owners Will Love It," 19 Mar. 2021 This can include ensuring participants have their microphones on mute when not speaking or instructions for when cameras should be turned on or off. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "How to juggle child care while working from home: Ask HR," 23 Mar. 2021 Virtual bonding can be as simple as groups working together on Zoom, on mute, until someone has something to say. Katie Johnston, BostonGlobe.com, "With more people working from home, valuable connections lost," 18 Mar. 2021 And while shooting a scene in which Ruben watches a video of his girlfriend singing on Joe’s computer, Stone informed Marder that Deaf people tend to keep their electronics on mute. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Thanks to its Deaf actors, ‘Sound of Metal’ offers an authentic look at Deaf culture," 4 Mar. 2021 Toggling from mute to unmute on Zoom might affect any one of them, so be sure each one is unmuted and the volume is set appropriately. Steve Alexander And Star Tribune, Star Tribune, "How to keep your voice from fading out on a Zoom call," 27 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now presenters talk to their own face on a screen, and participants mute themselves and turn their cameras off. Susan Madsen, Forbes, "Turn Your Camera On! Deep Vs. Shallow Learning In A Virtual World," 5 Apr. 2021 Peel, it should be noted, was failed by a member of the game’s tech crew who didn’t mute his microphone. BostonGlobe.com, "NHL responded quickly to Tim Peel/hot microphone episode," 27 Mar. 2021 Not long after, some phone attendees neglected to mute themselves, publicly revealing what was either Bravo or RHOSLC fandom. Victoria Bekiempis, Vulture, "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s Jennifer Shah Arrested for Fraud," 2 Apr. 2021 At one point before the 45-minute call was adjourned, court officials had to tell everyone on the line to mute themselves, after one of the people listening started chatting about the case. Washington Post, "Behind a Real Housewife’s vague answers about her fortune: A telemarketing scam, officials say," 31 Mar. 2021 Despite the slight difficulty, the device gives accurate and consistent readings, has the option to mute all sounds, can store up to 25 readings and offers an LED backlight. Jennifer Yellin, CNN Underscored, "The best thermometers of 2021," 17 Mar. 2021 Different types of radiation, from other types of stars, could mute or stimulate an NO₂ signal. Meghan Herbst, Wired, "Can Alien Smog Lead Us to Extraterrestrial Civilizations?," 4 Mar. 2021 These will take time to repair, which is likely to mute spending. Joseph Stiglitz For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Stiglitz: Failing to pass Biden's relief package would be irresponsible and reckless," 23 Feb. 2021 The panelists appeared remotely from their homes and offices in a setup that led to several moments of absurdity and online humor, requiring lots of reminders for participants to mute their microphones. New York Times, "In GameStop Saga, Robinhood Is Cast as the Villain," 18 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb And several studies are assessing the response to coronavirus vaccines in people with cancer, autoimmune conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, or who take drugs that mute the immune response. Apoorva Mandavilli New York Times, Star Tribune, "Vaccines won't protect millions of patients with crippled immune systems," 22 Apr. 2021 And several studies are assessing the response to coronavirus vaccines in people with cancer, autoimmune conditions like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, or who take drugs that mute the immune response. New York Times, "Vaccines Won’t Protect Millions of Patients With Weakened Immune Systems," 15 Apr. 2021 Plugging in headphones will also automagically mute the speaker output. Maren Estrada, BGR, "Amazon sale gets you a pair of pro studio-quality Mackie speakers for just $120," 7 Apr. 2021 There was a screech of feedback as one priest struggled to mute his microphone, and some awkward waiting as another scrambled to point his camera toward his face rather than the painting of the Last Supper on the wall behind him. Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, "With his mentors dying, a young Catholic priest tries to save his diocese from COVID-19," 14 Feb. 2021 Not long after, some phone attendees neglected to mute themselves, publicly revealing what was either Bravo or RHOSLC fandom. Victoria Bekiempis, Vulture, "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s Jennifer Shah Arrested for Fraud," 2 Apr. 2021 At one point before the 45-minute call was adjourned, court officials had to tell everyone on the line to mute themselves, after one of the people listening started chatting about the case. Washington Post, "Behind a Real Housewife’s vague answers about her fortune: A telemarketing scam, officials say," 31 Mar. 2021 Despite the slight difficulty, the device gives accurate and consistent readings, has the option to mute all sounds, can store up to 25 readings and offers an LED backlight. Jennifer Yellin, CNN Underscored, "The best thermometers of 2021," 17 Mar. 2021 These will take time to repair, which is likely to mute spending. Joseph Stiglitz For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Stiglitz: Failing to pass Biden's relief package would be irresponsible and reckless," 23 Feb. 2021

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 2

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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Time Traveler for mute

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for mute

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mute. Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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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)

dated, offensive : a person who lacks the ability to speak

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Comments on mute

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