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 The clearest thrust in this vein was an initiative championed by Rick Perry that ended in utter failure. Philip Wallach, National Review, "On Deregulation, Trump Has Achieved Little," 19 Dec. 2019 Hers is an incredibly important story of what an utter failure the criminal-justice system is—not just in the United States but more generally. Charles Bethea, The New Yorker, "A Father, a Daughter, and the Attempt to Change the Census," 13 July 2019 The Cloud! Chromebooks! Instagram!—there was no shortage of utter floppery to go around. Christopher Null, Wired, "The 10 Worst Tech Product Launches of the 2010s," 24 Dec. 2019 After years of promises, changes, and utter confusion involving what should be a staple feature of all assistants, Google appears to finally be rolling out the ability to create and manage notes and lists using Google Assistant. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "Hallelujah! Google Keep notes and lists are finally coming to Google Assistant," 6 Dec. 2019 The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear. Robin Wright, The New Yorker, "ISIS’s Leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—the World’s Most Wanted Man—Is Dead," 27 Oct. 2019 Before a ball had even been kicked, football fans from around the world were sent into utter disbelief when the team-sheets were released. SI.com, "Twitter Reacts as Gareth Bale Stars & Toni Kroos Scores Stunner in Real Madrid Win," 17 Aug. 2019 His daughter’s alarming body is itself an embodiment of the lie of race, the incarnation of its utter and elemental absurdity. Emily Bernard, Harper's magazine, "Autobiography of an Ex-Black Man," 25 Nov. 2019 Teenage boys, once the growth spurts kick in, are especially famous for confusing newfound strength with complete and utter invulnerability. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, "Former CU Buffs OL Jake Moretti: “I love football. But I’ve got to make sure I’m able to walk when I’m 40.”," 17 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The meme also recently was uttered on an MSNBC broadcast by an attendee of last weekend’s University of Alabama-Louisiana State University football game. Greg Norman, Fox News, "'Epstein didn't kill himself' meme joins the mainstream as viral craze now infiltrates Congress," 14 Nov. 2019 The Texans have had an extra week to prepare for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, but head coach Bill O’Brien echoed statements many coaches have uttered this season, saying there is no player in the league who can replicate Jackson’s talents. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens vs. Texans staff picks: Who will win Sunday’s game?," 13 Nov. 2019 Pascal's Mandalorian loomed menacingly but never uttered a word. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Disney leans hard into Space Western territory in new Mandalorian trailer," 29 Oct. 2019 The poisons were so fearsome that U.S. government scientists were forbidden from publicly uttering their name. Richard Stone, Science | AAAS, "Poison used in recent attack on Russian spy may soon be banned," 23 Oct. 2019 Merely to announce a high regard for truth is no guarantee that truth will be uttered. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Nietzsche’s Eternal Return," 7 Oct. 2019 In China even uttering these words in public may get a person into trouble. The Economist, "An exhibition in Shanghai celebrates Einstein’s genius," 19 Sep. 2019 As Bochy began to walk back toward the dugout, another fan called out and must have uttered the magic phrase. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "My trip inside the Green Monster at Fenway Park with Bruce Bochy," 19 Sep. 2019 The new law, say its critics, has consciously set punishments for merely uttering words that, ever since the supreme court’s judgment, have no legal meaning. Justin Jones, Quartz India, "India’s triple talaq law has divided even those who oppose the practice," 15 Sep. 2019

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

20 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Utter.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/utterer. Accessed 22 January 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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More from Merriam-Webster on utter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for utter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with utter

Spanish Central: Translation of utter

Nglish: Translation of utter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of utter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on utter

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