\ 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
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
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 Its included remote now comes with dedicated buttons for power, volume, and mute, as well as an IR transmitter that gives it a modicum of control over various soundbars, cable boxes, and AV equipment. Jeff Dunn, Ars Technica, "Amazon’s new Fire TV Stick brings 4K, HDR, and Dolby Atmos for $50," 3 Oct. 2018 Not even TVs on mute, or TVs showing old movies or TVs behind a pillar. Polly Campbell, Cincinnati.com, "Where to not watch March Madness in Cincinnati," 13 Mar. 2018 Gritty, a furry monster who's mute save for some squeaky hands, was coaxed out of hiding when the Flyers renovated their arena, the team said in his profile. Scottie Andrew And Brian Ries, CNN, "A 7-year-old hockey fan wanted a prosthetic leg that repped his favorite team, and Gritty was happy to surprise him," 25 June 2019 Whitman invented a poetry specific to this language and open to the kinds of experience, peculiar to democracy in a polyethnic society on a vast continent, that might otherwise be mute. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "How to Celebrate Walt Whitman’s Two-Hundredth Birthday," 17 June 2019 An actress rendered mute by emotional pain removes to an isolated beach house with a nurse as her only companion. Los Angeles Times, "Here are the feature and TV films airing the week of Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 On a quiet Wednesday afternoon, the cries of the 13-year-old deaf-mute follow you from room to room. oregonlive.com, "Wordless terror and the world’s refugees: Steve Duin," 2 Aug. 2019 The mother, Teresa (Adriana Barraza, Oscar nominated for Babel), goes about her murderous duties, sometimes with the assistance of her mute handyman (Neil Sandilands, The Americans), with total dispassion. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Coyote Lake': Film Review," 31 July 2019 If the butterflies circle around his gut like planes waiting to land at LAX, the internal chaos remains on mute. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Padres’ door-slamming closer Kirby Yates understated, undeterred," 20 June 2019 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 Even so, compared to the last campaign in April, when Trump approved US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights -- captured from Syria in a war more than 50 years ago -- Trump's role in this campaign has been muted. Andrew Carey, CNN, "Benjamin Netanyahu's re-election plans in limbo as Israeli exit polls show tight contest," 17 Sep. 2019 The colors were muted, with many variations of green and gray, and Chung paid homage to the American west with a denim dress that seemed to conjure up open skies and endless vistas. Washington Post, "Model Naomi Campbell takes spotlight at London Fashion Week," 14 Sep. 2019 The Rams’ celebration was also muted since the three points only tied the game. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Forgotten drive: The Rams forced OT after non-call versus the Saints in NFC title game," 14 Sep. 2019 While Ghana’s output this year was severely affected by swollen shoot, Ivory Coast is headed for a record crop, so the affect on global cocoa prices has been muted. Olivia Konotey-ahulu / Bloomberg, Time, "Cocoa Trees in West Africa Are Being Ravaged By a Disease With No Known Cure," 6 Sep. 2019 Yet the impact of the cheating is muted: Robert was also having an affair, but no one seems to think this much matters. Kyle Smith, National Review, "When Superheroes Take the Stage," 6 Sep. 2019 Showing surgical precision at times, the Patriots’ offense carved their way through the Steeler defense and the New England defenders consistently muted Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown-less attack. Jim Mcbride, BostonGlobe.com, "Patriots have everything working in an opening rout of Steelers," 8 Sep. 2019 Stepping back mutes criticism Seeking the appointment of a special prosecutor can be an easy way for prosecutors to insulate themselves from from potential criticism, but isn't always necessary, according to Indianapolis attorney Jack Crawford. Tim Evans, Indianapolis Star, "How crimes involving public officials are handled, from judges' shooting to Dan Forestal," 18 Aug. 2019 But repeating the formulation in the morning does mute the pernicious aspects of my ambition so that longing doesn’t get in the way of doing. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "Use these mantras to start, power through, and finish your day," 10 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Most members of the Chilobrachys spider genus have muted brown, black or grey coloring. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Turquoise-Tinted Tarantula Discovered in Sri Lanka," 27 Aug. 2019 The report also hinted at some intriguing new findings — but their effect was muted by the scope of the deletions demanded by intelligence agencies. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Russia Targeted Election Systems in All 50 States, Report Finds," 25 July 2019 His impact muted by the star power that surrounded him, Green stayed for his sophomore season after Gilgeous-Alexander went No. Emily Caron, SI.com, "How the Trend of Top Recruits Staying Home Is Changing College Basketball," 19 July 2019 Mariona, now 75 and slightly stooped, his once-penetrating gaze muted by thin-frame glasses, remembers that fight too. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "When soccer teams from El Salvador and Honduras met 50 years ago, it really was a war," 24 June 2019 The moment called for a celebration, muted by news of Durant’s injury. Connor Letourneau, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors survive Kevin Durant injury to edge Raptors in Game 5 of NBA Finals," 10 June 2019 The joy of a late-season comeback for a division title would somewhat mute the pain of losing to the Braves, who have played much better than the Cubs all season. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "What’s the worst that can happen to the Cubs this season? Here are 10 scenarios.," 16 Sep. 2019 Showing surgical precision at times, the Patriots’ offense carved their way through the Steeler defense and the New England defenders consistently muted Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown-less attack. Jim Mcbride, BostonGlobe.com, "Patriots have everything working in an opening rout of Steelers," 8 Sep. 2019 The English-language newspaper The Cambodia Daily also was forced to close, muting almost all independent media inside the country. Washington Post, "Verdict delayed for 2 Cambodia journalists in espionage case," 31 Aug. 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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Statistics for mute

Time Traveler for mute

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

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More Definitions for mute

How to pronounce mute (audio)

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
\ 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.
\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mute

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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