mutism

noun
mut·ism | \ˈmyü-ˌti-zəm \

Definition of mutism 

: the condition of being unable to speak whether from physical, functional, or psychological cause

Examples of mutism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Otunga says Kylee has selective mutism — an anxiety disorder when someone who is capable of speech cannot speak in particular situations or to certain people — and rarely says very many words. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "WWE Vet David Otunga Helps His Niece, 24, Secure a Heart Transplant: We Are 'Overjoyed'," 29 Mar. 2018 After all, severe autism repels language, turns it chaotic or, in the case of autistic mutism, simply absorbs it wholesale, as a black hole does light. Eli Gottlieb, chicagotribune.com, "In 'Shtum,' parents wreck their home to find a better one for their autistic son.," 30 May 2017 Researchers say selective mutism is caused by anxiety, not stubbornness, so many parents of children with the disorder turn to psychiatric drugs. Randy Dotinga, WIRED, "Popping Pills in Preschool," 5 Feb. 2004

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mutism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of mutism

1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mutism

French mutisme, from Latin mutus mute

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mutism

Dictionary Entries near mutism

mutinous

mutiny

Mutisia

mutism

mutrie yellow

muts

Mutsu Bay

Statistics for mutism

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mutism

The first known use of mutism was in 1824

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mutism

mutism

noun
mut·ism | \ˈmyüt-ˌiz-əm \

Medical Definition of mutism 

: the condition of being mute whether from physical, functional, or psychological cause

More from Merriam-Webster on mutism

See words that rhyme with mutism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about mutism

Comments on mutism

What made you want to look up mutism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!