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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Meanwhile, throughout the discussion, an elderly onlooker muttered unhappily. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "Trump’s Ukraine gambit threatened US national security," 25 Sep. 2019 Murphy muttered at a woman and child crossing Mission Street at Fremont Street on the red light. Steve Rubenstein,, "Muni brings out vintage buses and streetcars for transit heritage fest," 7 Sep. 2019 In coastal Alabama, the famous phrase has been muttered in the past 15 days to symbolize the skepticism toll opponents have about the $2.1 billion Interstate 10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project and a plan to assess tolls to pay for it. al, "Toll opponents fear ‘Lazarus’ moment as efforts continue to keep I-10 project ‘dead’," 11 Sep. 2019 In the Garden Room, a woman paced, muttering poetry. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "There Was No Limit to the Champagne, Caviar, and Lobster at Hermès’s Lavish Fete," 5 Apr. 2019 Townsend’s tactical shift appeared to unsettle Andreescu, who muttered and fidgeted and stomped. Gerald Marzorati, The New Yorker, "Bianca Andreescu Makes the Case for More Attention in Her Victory Over Taylor Townsend," 3 Sep. 2019 Ramirez muttered and sighed as the teens, with their baby faces and coltish bodies, bumbled a run-through. Diana Marcum, Los Angeles Times, "Gay shopkeeper stands his ground in a Central Valley town, carving out space for others," 20 Aug. 2019 Because shooting Nazis while sneaking around and muttering gruffly is just, like, fun. Julie Muncy, WIRED, "Nintendo's Reportedly Fixing Those Broken Joy-Cons for Free," 26 July 2019 The actor rocked back and forth while pulling his hair and muttering to himself. Ryan Faircloth, Twin Cities, "Unarmed and outnumbered, MN corrections officers use crisis intervention to defuse tense encounters," 5 July 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.

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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

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Mutter.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 2019.

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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.

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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

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