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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web That doesn't give you the right to mutter not-so-sweet nothings. Elissa Sanci, Woman's Day, 12 May 2022 The mourners filed across the church’s green carpet, pausing to touch Sierra’s folded hands or mutter a prayer, before finding a seat in the pews. Washington Post, 21 Mar. 2022 As the story goes at El Charro, founder Monica Flin accidentally dropped a burrito into the fryer one day and began to mutter a famous Mexican curse word. Andi Berlin, The Arizona Republic, 12 Sep. 2021 Reyerson agreed that Floyd appeared to mutter the phrase. Fox News, 8 Apr. 2021 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, 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, 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, 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, 26 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Mutter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for mutter


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on mutter

Nglish: Translation of mutter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mutter for Arabic Speakers


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