mut·​ism | \ ˈmyü-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce mutism (audio) \

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 Ironically, mutism is only a trait while held in captivity; in the wild, the birds can be quite vocal. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, 13 Jan. 2022 Federico Atehortúa Arteaga’s essay film connects the 1906 execution of four men charged with attempting to kill the president of Colombia, his mother’s mutism and the origins of Colombian cinema. Peter Libbey, New York Times, 9 Mar. 2020 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,, 30 May 2017

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.

First Known Use of mutism

1824, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for mutism

French mutisme, from Latin mutus mute

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Dictionary Entries Near mutism



mutrie yellow

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Cite this Entry

“Mutism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mutism


mut·​ism | \ ˈmyüt-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce mutism (audio) \

Medical Definition of mutism

: the condition of being unable to speak whether from physical, functional, or psychological cause — see also selective mutism

More from Merriam-Webster on mutism Encyclopedia article about mutism


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