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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from mutter

mutter noun
mutterer \ ˈmə-​tər-​ər How to pronounce mutterer (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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web Speaker Nancy Pelosi shattered tradition, making faces, muttering, shaking her head as the president delivered his State of the Union address. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "The Democrats’ Unserious Week," 6 Feb. 2020 France’s centrist president, Emmanuel Macron, mutters about wanting more of it. The Economist, "Unseating an old idea Deutschland AG rethinks workers’ role in management," 30 Jan. 2020 As soon as the judge starts talking, the interpreter mutters along, not waiting for the sentence to be over before beginning to translate. Rachel Nolan, The New Yorker, "A Translation Crisis at the Border," 30 Dec. 2019 Footage captured by Sky Sports' coverage of the game circulated on Twitter with fans speculating that Phil Jones actually muttered 'sacked in the morning' while sitting behind Ed Woodward on the bench towards the end of the 2-0 defeat., "Ed Woodward Appears to Scold Phil Jones in Stands During Man Utd's Defeat to West Ham," 22 Sep. 2019 His audience of ear surgeons muttered skeptically and shook their heads. oregonlive, "Epley maneuver for vertigo was invented by Oregon doctor," 15 Oct. 2019 Officer Eric Dinnel, specially trained for crisis intervention, saw the man muttering unintelligibly. oregonlive, "Portland police find discharged patient, handcuffed and shivering, outside Unity psychiatric hospital," 8 Dec. 2019 Kristen Stewart, in particular, makes a private party out of every scrap of comic relief she’s given, scoring with an impressive percentage of her muttered asides and drive-by zingers. Michael Phillips,, "‘Charlie’s Angels’ review: Kristen Stewart and Elizabeth Banks update the tacky, sexualized ’70s series for 2019’s woke culture," 12 Nov. 2019 Lee then looked Davitt in the eye, muttered under his breath and chuckled, Davitt said in the complaint. Perry Vandell, azcentral, "Records: Inmate filed sexual misconduct complaint against officer before fatal attack," 1 Nov. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about mutter

Time Traveler for mutter

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for mutter

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Mutter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for mutter


How to pronounce mutter (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on mutter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for mutter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with mutter

Spanish Central: Translation of mutter

Nglish: Translation of mutter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of mutter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on mutter

What made you want to look up mutter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!