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

Did you know?

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 In the study, a team from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria used nine timber wolves and eight mongrel or mutt dogs living at the Wolf Science Center in Ernstbrunn, Austria. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 13 Sep. 2023 An abused stray mutt kept trying to move himself into a senior care facility. John Carlisle, USA TODAY, 1 Sep. 2023 For example, a purebred dog is worth more than a mutt, because a willing buyer will pay more for a purebred. Virginia Hammerle, Dallas News, 16 July 2023 This one features a crucial mutt who one of the central characters takes home to care for, filling the void of loneliness. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 May 2023 The force was with this 14-year-old mutt when Yoda snagged the trophy at the 23rd annual contest. People Staff, Peoplemag, 14 June 2023 And unlike our daughter’s neurotic rescue dog — Merlin, an eight-pound mutt — the 80-pound Archie wasn’t going to fit under an airplane seat. John Kelly, Washington Post, 1 Jan. 2023 As for Finnick’s death at the hands of lizard mutts during the rebellion, Claflin still has some thoughts. Katcy Stephan, Variety, 23 Feb. 2023 The puzzle is how the big bad wolf was tolerated around humans long enough to evolve into the mutt that now sleeps on the sofa. Gareth Cook, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2015 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'mutt.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


short for muttonhead dull-witted person

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of mutt was in 1899


Dictionary Entries Near mutt

Cite this Entry

“Mutt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a mongrel dog : cur

More from Merriam-Webster on mutt

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