\ ˈmət How to pronounce mutt (audio) \

Definition of mutt

1 : a stupid or insignificant person : fool
2 : a mongrel dog : cur

Synonyms & Antonyms for mutt



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Mutt can now be used with either affection or disdain to refer to a dog that is not purebred, but in the word's early history, in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century, it could also be used to describe a person—and not kindly: mutt was another word for "fool." The word's history lies in another insult. It comes from muttonhead, another Americanism that also means essentially "fool." Muttonhead had been around since the early 19th century but it was not unlike an older insult with the same meaning: people had been calling one another "sheep's heads" since the mid-16th century.

Examples of mutt in a Sentence

it's an expensive camera, and I'd rather not turn it over to some mutt
Recent Examples on the Web Chloe tried to see if Sandy, a mutt, could swim on her own, but the small dog couldn't. Rae Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 2 Aug. 2022 The New York chapter of the AMC would never let such a mutt through their censors; can the A.A.C. be less choosey? Outside Online, 5 May 2022 The researchers got their wealth of information from Darwin’s Ark, a project that Dr. Karlsson and her colleagues created by asking owners of any breed or mutt to submit DNA swabs of their dogs and answer questionnaires. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Casper, my 17-year-old mutt, follows me everywhere. Longreads, 20 Apr. 2022 The largest of these is JoJo, a scrapper mutt of about 60 pounds. Kevin Fisher-paulson, San Francisco Chronicle, 8 Mar. 2022 The story, told from the perspective of Enzo (a mutt in the novel, a golden retriever in the 2019 20th Century Fox film), is an amusing, witty lifelong account of the profound bond between pup and owner. The Editors, Outside Online, 10 Feb. 2022 Nachminovitch walks on to find the third dog, Shortie, a little black and brown mutt. Gene Weingarten, Washington Post, 8 Nov. 2021 Two dogs—Toby, a husky, and Potter, a mutt—trot merrily around the Raskins’ small front yard. Nathan Heller, Vogue, 4 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of mutt

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for mutt

short for muttonhead dull-witted person

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Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mutt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for mutt


\ ˈmət How to pronounce mutt (audio) \

Kids Definition of mutt

: a dog that is a mix of usually undetermined breeds

More from Merriam-Webster on mutt

Nglish: Translation of mutt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mutt for Arabic Speakers


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