utter

adjective
ut·​ter | \ ˈə-tər \

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

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Other Words from utter

Adjective

utterly adverb

Verb

utterable \ ˈə-​tə-​rə-​bəl \ adjective
utterer \ ˈə-​tər-​ər \ 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

With one loud gasp of utter shock, Pena falls backwards onto the floor. Alexis Hobbs, Country Living, "This Dad of 4 Daughters Has the Best Reaction to Finding Out He's Having a Son," 27 Jan. 2016 Following the lead of Mr. Davis could lead to utter chaos. Joe Queenan, WSJ, "The Awful Dangers of Calling It Quits Before You’re Done," 20 Sep. 2018 Judas has to save Maggie first, though; this lonely girl, for whom life has been an utter disaster (think suicidal pets), is literally just about to blow her brains out on a beach. Max Maller, Chicago Reader, "The Book of Maggie follows an epic quest to preserve Armageddon," 24 May 2018 But City Hall has shown it can't be trusted with all the petty political fights and utter failure to fix the 911 system years ago. Jason Williams, Cincinnati.com, "PX column: Why Ron Plush is keeping the pressure on Cincinnati City Hall," 14 June 2018 Or leave just for her utter failure to see the irony in her rage or to admit her own faults. Carolyn Hax, Detroit Free Press, "Girlfriend harbors intense hatred of all men," 30 Mar. 2018 Its mission is to tackle obstacles to community progress, and a big topic has been what its leaders say is the utter failure of JCPS to reverse low achievement of its graduates. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "JCPS superintendent to SCALA: As long as you want a state takeover, I won't join you," 19 Mar. 2018 The utter failure of one of the most complex and expensive walking robots in history must have been a red flag for Google/Alphabet. Erik Sofge, Popular Mechanics, "The Golden Age of Walking Bots That Never Arrived," 25 Mar. 2016 Leonard breaks the news to Sheldon and Amy, who are in complete and utter disbelief. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "The Big Bang Theory Season 12, Episode 9 Recap: Amy and Sheldon's Project Falls Apart," 15 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Rogue One propped up a throwaway reference from the opening seconds of A New Hope while Solo played out a line uttered by Han Solo in the same film (which my colleague Chaim Gartenberg called back in 2016). Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Lucasfilm canceling its Boba Fett film could be good news for Star Wars’ future," 26 Oct. 2018 Consider Monica Vitti, who, with the help of her plush lips, rumpled blonde bob, and thick, feline flick, seduced Gabriele Ferzetti without hardly uttering a word in Antonioni’s masterpiece, L’Avventura. Sophie Schulte-hillen, Vogue, "10 Italian Beauties Who Make the Case for La Dolce Vita," 18 Sep. 2018 The hit men arrived by motorcycle at noon, stepped into the Toreo Restaurant and, without uttering a word, opened fire on Antonia Jaimes Moctezuma. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, San Francisco Chronicle, "At least 30 candidates killed in Mexican election campaigns," 12 Apr. 2018 Without Kawhi Leonard uttering a single word, the saga in San Antonio continued to gain steam over the week. Andrew Sharp And Ben Golliver, SI.com, "A Deep Dive Into the Latest Twist in the Kawhi Leonard Saga," 4 Apr. 2018 Betty utters — in her head — the same prayer to the GK that Ethel said earlier. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, ""Riverdale" Recap Season 3 Episode 7: Why Has No One Noticed Betty Is Missing?," 6 Dec. 2018 The words, their timing and the person uttering them all matter. SI.com, "Danny Rose Lifts Lid on Battle With Depression & Personal Troubles Following World Cup Selection," 7 June 2018 On July 11, Forbes reported that Papa John’s founder, chairman and public face John Schnatter, uttered the N-word on a call with company executives and a marketing firm known as Laundry Service. Fox News, "Papa John's ex-CEO apologizes for using racial slur in May conference call," 2 Oct. 2018 Yes’ was uttered before the ring was revealed — which got a lackluster reaction from Ms. Clark. Alix Strauss, New York Times, "Worthy of a Romance Novel, With a Touch of Mystery," 29 June 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.

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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 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

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Statistics for utter

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for utter

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

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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 \

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

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

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