mutter

verb
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

More experienced engineers stand by to help competitors who are stuck, easily spotted by their heavy sighs, rapid foot tapping, and muttered profanity. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Behind the Scenes at the Most Important Hackathon on Earth," 20 Nov. 2015 After the first game, some muttered darkly that D’Antoni Ball had become static and almost ugly. Michael Powell, New York Times, "Rockets vs. Warriors: The Dead Live Again in Houston," 17 May 2018 Trump muttered when he was confronted with this damning revelation on his way home from Davos. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The President is “Looking Forward” to Talking to Mueller, the Guy He Wanted To Fire, and Other Bizarre Moments From Washington This Week," 28 Jan. 2018 After Sri Lanka was forced to grant China a 99-year lease on the Hambantota Port to repay Chinese loans, countries across Asia and Africa started rereading the fine print of their contracts, muttering about unequal treaties. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Imperialism Will Be Dangerous for China," 17 Sep. 2018 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, latimes.com, "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, latimes.com, "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

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

mutsuddy

Mutsuhito

mutt

mutter

mutteringly

mutton

muttonbird

Statistics for mutter

Last Updated

23 Apr 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

mutter

verb

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

mutter

verb
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).

WORD OF THE DAY

something valued as if it were money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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