mut·​ter | \ ˈmə-tər How to pronounce mutter (audio) \
muttered; muttering; mutters

Definition of mutter

intransitive verb

1 : to utter sounds or words indistinctly or with a low voice and with the lips partly closed … he gestured and muttered furiously in his lawyer's ear.— Tana French
2 : to murmur complainingly or angrily : grumble Some employees muttered about the changes in the pension plan.

transitive verb

: to utter especially in a low or imperfectly articulated manner muttered an apology

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Other Words from mutter

mutter noun
mutterer \ ˈmə-​tər-​ər How to pronounce mutter (audio) \ noun

Examples of mutter in a Sentence

She angrily muttered something about her bad luck. She sat practicing her speech, muttering to herself. Some employees are muttering about the changes in the pension plan.
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Recent Examples on the Web The plane had hit turbulence—the rollicking kind that makes some people cry out, while others grip their armrests tightly, and mutter a prayer to the power of their choice. Sarah Todd, Quartz, "The mindfulness business is thriving on our anxiety," 17 Jan. 2021 Let some poor nag so much as lay back his ears and people mutter threats and reach for the nearest club. David E. Petzal, Field & Stream, "F&S Classics: A Kind Word for the Horse," 26 Dec. 2020 While other teammates would talk trash, Okongwu would either mutter under his breath or flash a smile back in their direction. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "2020 NBA Draft: Can Onyeka Okongwu be Cleveland Cavaliers’ version of Bam Adebayo?," 17 Sep. 2020 The lasting image from that night was Baylor head coach Scott Drew muttering to his assistants and appearing helpless to find a way to slow UW’s offense. Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "How sweet it is: A look back at five memorable UW games in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament," 26 Mar. 2020 That as our expectations of privacy plummet, Americans will increasingly shrug their shoulders and mutter knowingly to each other that privacy is dead. K.n.c., The Economist, "Surveillance is a fact of life, so make privacy a human right," 13 Dec. 2019 Not far away on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, a shirtless man sat on the curb muttering to himself as a steady stream of customers cycled in and out of the 7-Eleven. Los Angeles Times, "To chase away homeless people, 7-Eleven stores in L.A. use classical music," 6 Sep. 2019 Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, muttering audibly, used a barnyard epithet to express his assessment of the situation. Emily Cochrane, New York Times, "Top Senate Democrat and Treasury Secretary Say They Are Near a Stimulus Deal," 23 Mar. 2020 Thickening the plot, White House aides darkly mutter that the Vermont senator honeymooned in Soviet-era Moscow. Stephen Collinson, CNN, "Putin must be loving Washington's meltdown over Russian election interference," 25 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mutter.' 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 mutter

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for mutter

Middle English muteren, of imitative origin

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Time Traveler for mutter

Time Traveler

The first known use of mutter was in the 14th century

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Statistics for mutter

Cite this Entry

“Mutter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for mutter



English Language Learners Definition of mutter

: to speak quietly so that it is difficult for other people to hear what you say
: to complain in a quiet or indirect way


mut·​ter | \ ˈmə-tər How to pronounce mutter (audio) \
muttered; muttering

Kids Definition of mutter

1 : to speak in a low voice with lips partly closed He muttered an apology.
2 : to complain in a low voice : grumble She muttered about the bad food.

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Comments on mutter

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