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

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 Mourinho would sit on the United bench, ashen-faced and muttering to himself, while United sputtered along like 11 players who had only just met. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Mourinho Fired From Manchester United as Premier League Heavyweights Struggle," 18 Dec. 2018 Clark can be heard muttering on the broadcast, apparently about Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Police Chief Daniel Hahn, as well as a local pastor. Nashelly Chavez, Ed Fletcher And Sam Stanton, sacbee, "Update: Roommates say Stevante Clark arrest came after escalating dispute in their house," 20 Apr. 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.

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

Dictionary Entries near mutter








Statistics for mutter

Last Updated

23 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mutter

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!