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

1 obsolete : to offer for sale
2a : 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
3 : 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
4 : to put forth or out : discharge

intransitive verb

: to make a statement or sound

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from utter

Adjective

utterly adverb

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Social media, of course, chimed in with amusement and an utter lack of surprise at the enigmatic rapper’s antics. Rachel Yang, EW.com, "Fans have spotted André 3000 playing the flute 'at least a dozen' times around Philadelphia," 16 July 2019 Time was, a movie like Stuber didn’t stand out as an utter anomaly in the Hollywood landscape. David Sims, The Atlantic, "Stuber Is an Old-School Buddy Comedy Made for 2019," 12 July 2019 That includes other fuel-guzzling industries; governments for failing to explain the need for carbon taxes, and find ways to capture and store carbon; and society at large for its utter dependence on fossil fuels. The Economist, "Shell’s boss delivers some hard truths on oil and climate change," 4 July 2019 Otherwise, the opinion distorts our legal standards, ignores the record, and reflects utter disrespect for the careful analysis of the Mississippi courts. Essence, "SCOTUS Strikes Down Murder Conviction Of Mississippi Black Man, Finding Racial Bias In Jury Selection," 21 June 2019 Major props to Lil Nas X for his self-awareness, opening up the video as a western film and proceeding to reflect on the utter disbelief of a Lil Nas x Billy Ray collaboration in the first place. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "The Best New Music Videos of 2019," 14 June 2019 What comes across is the utter cynicism involved of the people who are helping to polarize the country. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook political ad tools are ripe for trolling," 1 Nov. 2018 Throughout the many works by Kurt Vonnegut in which Kilgore Trout appears, he is consistently described as the worst writer in the world, whose books are utter failures, and who is completely and even contemptuously ignored. Salman Rushdie, The New Yorker, "What Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” Tells Us Now," 13 June 2019 But To All the Boys leaned into its fake dating premise with utter and relentless sincerity. Constance Grady, Vox, "To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before," 25 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Is the most epic thing to ever be uttered by a Bachelorette. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Who Does Hannah Brown Have Windmill Sex With on 'The Bachelorette'?," 3 July 2019 However, Biden's name was hardly uttered during Wednesday night's debate. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "First night of Democratic debate: Who were the winners and losers," 27 June 2019 On June 11th they were uttered by someone who many believed would be less keen on such action. The Economist, "Trust-buster talk tough in America," 15 June 2019 Norman Cota, played by Bob Mitchum, but in reality, it was uttered by Col. George Taylor. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "What’s the Most Accurate D-Day Movie? Here’s What 3 Movies Got Right—and Wrong," 5 June 2019 Some of these are uttered in Centerville, in tribute. Sarah Larson, The New Yorker, "Jim Jarmusch Is Afraid of Cherubs and Abe Lincoln," 1 July 2019 Why watch: The most horrifying thing in Savageland might be the dialogue uttered by some of the white, openly racist side characters who populate its mockumentary pastiche. Dylan Scott, Vox, "13 found-footage horror movies actually worth watching this Halloween," 19 Oct. 2018 Civility does not require engagement with individuals who utter speech that, at its core, has no connection with respect or mutuality. Blake D. Morant, The Atlantic, "In Praise of Civility," 24 May 2018 To me, this sentence had the eerie ring of something uttered at a séance. Kathryn Schulz, The New Yorker, "Japan’s Rent-a-Family Industry," 23 Apr. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of utter

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about utter

Statistics for utter

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for utter

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for utter

utter

adjective

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on utter

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with utter

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for utter

Spanish Central: Translation of utter

Nglish: Translation of utter for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of utter for Arabic Speakers

Comments on utter

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to complain fretfully

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

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!