utter

adjective
ut·​ter | \ ˈə-tər How to pronounce utter (audio) \

Definition of utter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: carried to the utmost point or highest degree : absolute, total utter darkness utter strangers

utter

verb
uttered; uttering; utters

Definition of utter (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to send forth as a sound utter a sigh
b : to give utterance to : pronounce, speak refused to utter his name
c : to give public expression to : express in words utter an opinion
2 : to put (notes, currency, etc.) into circulation specifically : to circulate (something, such as a forged or counterfeit note) as if legal or genuine utter false tokens
3 : to put forth or out : discharge
4 obsolete : to offer for sale

intransitive verb

: to make a statement or sound

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Other Words from utter

Verb

utterable \ ˈə-​tə-​rə-​bəl How to pronounce utterable (audio) \ adjective
utterer \ ˈə-​tər-​ər How to pronounce utterer (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for utter

Verb

express, vent, utter, voice, broach, air mean to make known what one thinks or feels. express suggests an impulse to reveal in words, gestures, actions, or what one creates or produces. expressed her feelings in music vent stresses a strong inner compulsion to express especially in words. a tirade venting his frustration utter implies the use of the voice not necessarily in articulate speech. utter a groan voice does not necessarily imply vocal utterance but does imply expression or formulation in words. an editorial voicing their concerns broach adds the implication of disclosing for the first time something long thought over or reserved for a suitable occasion. broached the subject of a divorce air implies an exposing or parading of one's views often in order to gain relief or sympathy or attention. publicly airing their differences

Examples of utter in a Sentence

Adjective It's hard to believe that we were utter strangers just a few days ago. The situation descended into utter chaos. The children displayed an utter lack of interest in the performance. The movie was utter garbage. That argument is utter nonsense. Verb She uttered a cry of pleasure. He can hardly utter a sentence without swearing.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Then—all within 24 hours—came the fever, chills and body aches, severe pain and utter exhaustion, and hospitalization in the intensive-care unit. Chris Christie, WSJ, "I Should Have Worn a Mask," 21 Oct. 2020 While simultaneously fascinating and enraging in their own right, the president’s business dealings also expose the utter failures and injustices of the modern economy. Washington Post, "How Trump has turned the presidency into an arm of his own business," 16 Oct. 2020 At every previous moment this season, the Cougar quarterback had operated out of utter Barcalounger-like comfort, easily perusing the field for an open receiver, sometimes having difficulty making a single selection out of a plethora of choices. Gordon Monson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Gordon Monson: Disappointment and doubts created, Kalani Sitake knows BYU has to get better," 11 Oct. 2020 Yet, there’s still an utter fascination about how, exactly, royal couples first met and fell in love. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "How 5 Royal Romances Began," 7 Oct. 2020 But perhaps the most common form of hostile seating is even subtler: the utter lack of it in some places. Kurt Kohlstedt, Wired, "How Cities (and Citizens) Create Hostile Environments," 5 Oct. 2020 That's why Gibson’s closest friends were still in an utter state of disbelief, after hearing the news that Gibson died Friday at the age of 84, after battling pancreatic cancer for the past year. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "More than a legend: Bob Gibson's death leaves baseball world in mourning," 3 Oct. 2020 Their hurt, contempt, fatigue, utter refusal are unequivocal. Parul Sehgal, New York Times, "The First Photos of Enslaved People Raise Many Questions About the Ethics of Viewing," 29 Sep. 2020 The main criteria of a good camp classic is complete and utter commitment, no matter how misguided the action — and Showgirls has that in spades. Jean Bentley, refinery29.com, "Showgirls’ Controversies Hid Its One True Virtue: Pure, Uncut Camp," 23 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Matthew McConaughey will utter his famous catchphrase once again when the cast of Dazed and Confused reunites on Oct. 11 for a live script reading of the 1993 stoner cult classic. Thor Christensen, Dallas News, "Cast of Texas cult classic ‘Dazed and Confused’ will reunite for live-streamed reading," 2 Oct. 2020 Analysis: Words that Clinton could never utter, Biden's campaign will now use on T-shirts. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, "A woman could never behave that way and be president," 30 Sep. 2020 Those are words that, to many, should have been easy ones for the president to utter long ago. Nancy Benac, BostonGlobe.com, "Analysis: What Trump leaves unspoken carries consequences," 1 July 2020 And each time, the new straggler walked up and fearfully uttered that person's name. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "The Last of Us Pt. 2 hands-on: You can’t pet the dog—but you can expect terror," 2 June 2020 Even before anyone had uttered the name COVID-19, Indiana's nursing homes already were considered by some to be among the worst in the nation, in great part because of low staffing. Kaitlin Lange, Indianapolis Star, "By the time Indiana nursing homes had to report coronavirus deaths, 31 people were dead," 15 Apr. 2020 When Seldom Seen speaks, Belafonte utters some of the most scathing observations ever heard in an American film. Armond White, National Review, "Kansas City: Belafonte’s Greatest Political Lecture on Film," 11 Mar. 2020 If someone slips up and utters it, they are required to grab a makeshift pair of bicycle handlebars, head to the outfield wall and jog from pole-to-pole along the warning track. oregonlive, "‘We can’: How Mitch Canham has quickly brought Oregon State baseball ‘family’ closer together," 6 Mar. 2020 His voice, soft as denim but husky with a cold, uttered her name once, then again, the way one does when a newish relationship (10 months) is cementing into something real, something a person would be remiss to leave out. Thomas Whiteside, Harper's BAZAAR, "Noah Centineo Is More Than the Internet’s Boyfriend," 11 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'utter.' 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 utter

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4

History and Etymology for utter

Adjective

Middle English, remote, from Old English ūtera outer, comparative adjective from ūt out, adverb — more at out

Verb

Middle English uttren, from utter outside, adverb, from Old English ūtor, comparative of ūt out

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Time Traveler for utter

Time Traveler

The first known use of utter was in the 15th century

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Statistics for utter

Last Updated

24 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Utter.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/utter. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for utter

utter

adjective
How to pronounce utter (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of utter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: complete and total

utter

verb

English Language Learners Definition of utter (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make (a particular sound)
: to say (something)

utter

adjective
ut·​ter | \ ˈə-tər How to pronounce utter (audio) \

Kids Definition of utter

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in every way : total utter nonsense utter strangers

Other Words from utter

utterly adverb It was a world and life … utterly unknown to me. — Avi, Crispin

utter

verb
uttered; uttering

Kids Definition of utter (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to send forth as a sound The injured animal uttered a short cry.
2 : to express in usually spoken words She wanted to utter an angry protest.
ut·​ter

Legal Definition of utter

: to put (as a counterfeit note) into circulation as if genuine convicted of uttering a forged check

Other Words from utter

utterer noun

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Comments on utter

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