\ 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
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 Cardboard cutouts of fans stood amusingly in some seats but were mute. oregonlive, "A return to the game they love, a welcomed treat for the Oregon Ducks," 9 Nov. 2020 But Newsom was mostly mute about state and federal green polices that discouraged the removal of millions of dead and drought-stricken trees, which provided the kindling for the infernos. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "California’s Illogical Reparations Bill," 8 Oct. 2020 The mute button for a virtual teacher wields great power. Tonilyn Hornung, Good Housekeeping, "Teachers Shared Their Very Best Remote-School Bloopers, And We're Crying," 11 Dec. 2020 Because even nine months into this thing, some of you still can't find the mute button or refrain from typing loudly during the presentation... Allison Morrow, CNN, "Apple's new headphones cost about half a Peloton bike," 8 Dec. 2020 Phrases on repeat lately aren’t just about the mute button. David Yanofsky, Quartz, "CEOs and executives can’t remember to unmute either," 3 Dec. 2020 Two takeaways: increased early voting means the commission is considering earlier debates, and the mute button may be here to stay. David Bauder, Star Tribune, "Disastrous first debate is one rerun Fox's Wallace avoids," 24 Nov. 2020 Someone broadcast on President Trump's YouTube channel may have just learned a valuable lesson in the importance of the mute button. TheWeek, "Trump campaign's stream of Giuliani press conference includes audio of people mocking him," 19 Nov. 2020 The video call went mute for about five minutes at roughly 9 p.m., after about three hours of angry commentary by people dialing into the meeting. Nick Corasaniti, New York Times, "Michigan Republicans Backtrack After Refusing to Certify Election Results," 17 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 But now, her students are often on mute and off-camera. New York Times, "With Remote Learning, a 12-Year-Old Knows Her English Is Slipping Away," 29 Dec. 2020 As widely predicted, the finality of the electoral college’s action persuaded several Republicans to acknowledge Biden’s victory, after weeks of remaining mute in deference to the defiant Trump. Evan Halper, Los Angeles Times, "Electoral college picks Biden, yet Trump’s bid to keep power could have lasting effect," 14 Dec. 2020 There's an earpiece at the top and a volume rocker and mute switch on the side. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Get your first look at a OnePlus 9 prototype," 14 Dec. 2020 The LEDs indicate the headphones, aptX, EQ, internal mic mute and smartphone. Popular Science, "Get the world’s first adapter that connects to your Switch and your smartphone simultaneously," 2 Dec. 2020 The top of the Dots feature four physical buttons for control: volume down, volume up, an Alexa action button and mute. Jason Cipriani, CNN Underscored, "Amazon’s spherical Echo Dot lineup is as robust as it is cute," 18 Nov. 2020 After the second debate was canceled because Trump refused to participate in a virtual event, the final debate featured a microphone mute button to cut down on interruptions. David Montgomery, Washington Post, "Trump dramatically changed the presidency. Here’s a list of the 20 most important norms he broke — and how Biden can restore them," 10 Nov. 2020 There's also a dedicated mute button, just in case. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "Here's Everything You Need to Know About the New PS5 Controller," 2 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Also in Kentucky, Jefferson Circuit Judge Charles Cunningham said in an email a lawyer called into his court for motion hour, failed to mute himself, fell asleep, then snored for the rest of the proceeding. Andrew Wolfson, USA TODAY, "Virtual court hearings in 2020 have it all: Nudity, beer, bikinis and barking dogs," 22 Dec. 2020 But the focus of the celebration — pushed heavily by the early rabbis who wanted to mute the nationalistic and sectarian sides of the holiday — is on a minor-sounding miracle. Noah Millman, TheWeek, "America's corrosive obsession with scarcity," 24 Dec. 2020 Golovkin did not mute his trainer, Johnathon Banks. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin back in ring this weekend, but not against each other," 17 Dec. 2020 The host could also ask your colleagues to mute their microphones to reduce background noise and to face their camera directly to optimize their audio level and enable you to lip read. Johnny C. Taylor Jr., USA TODAY, "How do I talk to my manager about my hearing loss? Ask HR," 23 Dec. 2020 Family members forgot to mute their mics and emotions interrupted. Alex Mann, baltimoresun.com, "‘It tore our hearts apart’: The coronavirus killed 5,000 Marylanders this year. Many families couldn’t even say goodbye.," 23 Dec. 2020 Audience members are better behaved on Zoom and magicians can mute hecklers, Mr. Cox said. Katie Deighton, WSJ, "Alacazoom! Magic Acts Disappear from Theaters, Reappear Online," 20 Dec. 2020 Such a system can mute voices of local voters, most of whom – in this part of New Orleans – are Black. Connie L. Schaffer, The Conversation, "Once a symbol of desegregation, Ruby Bridges’ school now reflects another battle engulfing public education," 13 Nov. 2020 In an interview with Fox Tuesday, Trump complained about a decision by the commission to mute microphones to give each candidate two minutes to speak uninterrupted before opening the discussion up to crosstalk. Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "House Armed Services chairman warns of end to higher defense budgets and possible deep cut in Pentagon spending under Biden and Democrats," 22 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Also in Kentucky, Jefferson Circuit Judge Charles Cunningham said in an email a lawyer called into his court for motion hour, failed to mute himself, fell asleep, then snored for the rest of the proceeding. Andrew Wolfson, USA TODAY, "Virtual court hearings in 2020 have it all: Nudity, beer, bikinis and barking dogs," 22 Dec. 2020 But the focus of the celebration — pushed heavily by the early rabbis who wanted to mute the nationalistic and sectarian sides of the holiday — is on a minor-sounding miracle. Noah Millman, TheWeek, "America's corrosive obsession with scarcity," 24 Dec. 2020 Family members forgot to mute their mics and emotions interrupted. Alex Mann, baltimoresun.com, "‘It tore our hearts apart’: The coronavirus killed 5,000 Marylanders this year. Many families couldn’t even say goodbye.," 23 Dec. 2020 Audience members are better behaved on Zoom and magicians can mute hecklers, Mr. Cox said. Katie Deighton, WSJ, "Alacazoom! Magic Acts Disappear from Theaters, Reappear Online," 20 Dec. 2020 There is currently no evidence that these changes might mute the impact of the Covid-19 vaccines that are being rolled out. Ken Thomas, WSJ, "U.S. Officials Urge Calm Over New Covid-19 Strain Abroad," 20 Dec. 2020 Golovkin did not mute his trainer, Johnathon Banks. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Canelo Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin back in ring this weekend, but not against each other," 17 Dec. 2020 Believing that the visitor should always be aware of the changing sunlight, that firm has worked to mute its ferocity. Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, "Rothko in a New Light," 9 Dec. 2020 But to do so, the Cowboys will have to find a reasonable answer at quarterback, improve in a number of other areas, and at least mute the internal dissension. Victor Mather, New York Times, "Even Cowboys Get the Blues," 26 Oct. 2020

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

20 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Mute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/mute. Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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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)

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

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Comments on mute

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