mut·​ter | \ˈmə-tər \
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 \-​tər-​ər \ 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

Men listening to her speak then started muttering, some cursing her loudly for her comments. Jon Gambrell, Fox News, "Unease, anger in Tehran's Grand Bazaar, Iran's beating heart," 13 Sep. 2018 Several men stride into a Kansas City store and blow themselves up, one of them — in a ghoulishly exploitative touch — pausing to mutter a prayer in Arabic and savor the dread of a woman and her young daughter. Justin Chang,, "Violent, self-admiring sequel 'Sicario: Day of the Soldado' gets lost in the desert," 26 June 2018 At first light, muttering insults against all unpunctual men, the 46-year-old divorced woman and her son pushed out into the unknown. Scott Harrison,, "From the Archives: 1987 portraits highlight L.A.'s homeless plight," 7 Mar. 2018 Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, pleaded not guilty and never testified, remaining silent or muttering incomprehensibly during the eight years of his trial. Simon Denyer, Washington Post, "Former leader of Japanese doomsday cult hanged over 1995 sarin gas attack," 5 July 2018 Translators muttered live renderings of the speeches to friends and family unable to speak English. The Economist, "Grenfell’s long shadow," 9 June 2018 MacLellan nodded and muttered some thanks without breaking stride, always moving forward, only a little ways left to go. Alex Prewitt,, "After Game 4 Win, the Capitals Are on the Cusp of Finishing Their Story in Stanley Cup Final," 5 June 2018 Issues such as aggressive panhandling and guys with crazy eyes muttering to themselves are harder to measure. Bill Torpy, ajc, "Torpy at Large: Riding the rails in search of what ails MARTA," 13 June 2018 Of course the sound of scouts parsing talent, muttering under their breath with a crowd—3,692 tonight, a regular-season record—filing in, is a ballyard staple., "Prospect and Pariah," 16 May 2018

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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Statistics for mutter

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mutter

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

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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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on mutter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mutter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mutter

Spanish Central: Translation of mutter

Nglish: Translation of mutter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mutter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mutter

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to enclose within walls

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