AskDefine | Define mute

Dictionary Definition

mute adj
1 expressed without speech; especially because words would be inappropriate or inadequate; "a mute appeal"; "a silent curse"; "best grief is tongueless"- Emily Dickinson; "the words stopped at her lips unsounded"; "unspoken grief"; "choking exasperation and wordless shame"- Thomas Wolfe [syn: tongueless, unspoken, wordless]
2 lacking power of speech [syn: tongueless]
3 unable to speak because of hereditary deafness [syn: dumb, silent]


1 a deaf person who is unable to speak [syn: deaf-mute, deaf-and-dumb person]
2 a device used to soften the tone of a musical instrument v : deaden (a sound or noise), especially by wrapping [syn: muffle, dull, damp, dampen, tone down]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • (RP): myo͞ot, /mjuːt/, /mju:t/
  • Rhymes: -uːt


Via and from mutus.


  • moot (in some dialects)


  1. Silent; not making a sound.
  2. (of a person) Not having the power of speech.


silent, not making a sound
  • Dutch: stil, gedempt
  • Finnish: äänetön, mykkä
  • French: muet, muette
  • Hungarian: néma
  • Kurdish: mit, kirr, bêdeng, bêpêjn
  • Portuguese: mudo
  • Russian: немой
  • Swedish: tyst
  • Spanish: mudo, silencio
not having the power of speech


  1. A person who does not have the power of speech.
  2. An acting part where no speaking (and in opera, no singing) is required.
  3. An object for dulling the sound of an instrument, especially a brass instrument, or damper for pianoforte; a sordine.
  4. One refusing to speak.
  5. An undertaker's assistant.
  6. The deadening of an appliance's or musical instrument's volume.
  7. In falconry, a mute is a hawk's or falcon's droppings.
  8. In wine making, mute, from the French, is the grape juice from pressed grapes kept aside in chilled stainless steel tanks and used at later stages of wine making by adding to the dry wine base to achieve the desired residual sugar level in the final product. (Usually spelled "muté " in this case and pronounced "mju:te".)


person unable to speak
silent acting part
  • French: sourdine
  • Italian: sordino, sordina
  • Swedish: sordin
one refusing to speak
undertaker's assistant
bird droppings
grape juice


  1. To silence, to make quiet.
  2. To turn off the sound of.
    Please mute the music while I make a call.


silence, make quiet
turn off the sound of

Related terms



  1. feminine of muto


  1. Plural of muta



  1. mouth

Extensive Definition

Mute may refer to:
mute in German: Mute
mute in French: Mute
mute in Dutch: Mute
mute in Japanese: ミュート

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

abiotic, acoustic tile, allophone, alveolar, anaudic, antiknock, aphasic, aphonic, apico-alveolar, apico-dental, articulation, aspiration, assimilation, azoic, baffle, baffler, baton, bearer, bilabial, bit player, breathless, brief, brusque, cacuminal, cerebral, check, close, close-tongued, closemouthed, concise, consonant, continuant, curt, cushion, damp, dampen, dampener, damper, deaden, deaf-mute, deafen, dental, diapason, diphthong, dissimilation, dull, dumb, dumbfounded, dumbstricken, dumbstruck, dummy, economical of words, epenthetic vowel, exanimate, explosive, extra, figurant, figurante, gag, glide, glottal, glottalization, griever, guttural, hush, hushcloth, inanimate, inanimated, inarticulate, indisposed to talk, inert, insensate, insensible, insentient, keener, labial, labialization, labiodental, labiovelar, laconic, lamenter, laryngeal, lateral, lifeless, lingual, liquid, manner of articulation, metronome, modification, monochord, monophthong, morphophoneme, mourner, muffle, muffler, mum, music stand, muzzle, nasal, nonconscious, nonliving, occlusive, palatal, pallbearer, parasitic vowel, peak, pharyngeal, pharyngealization, phone, phoneme, pitch pipe, plosive, professional mourner, prothetic vowel, quiet, quietener, reserved, retroflex, rhythmometer, segmental phoneme, semivowel, senseless, short, silence, silence cloth, silencer, silent, snug, soft pedal, soft-pedal, soften, sonant, sonometer, sonority, sordine, sordino, soulless, sound-absorbing material, soundproofing, soundproofing insulation, sourdine, sparing of words, spear-carrier, speech sound, speechless, stand-in, standby, stick, stifle, stop, stricken dumb, subdue, substitute, supe, super, supernumerary, support, supporting actor, supporting cast, suppress, surd, syllabic nucleus, syllabic peak, syllable, tacit, taciturn, terse, tight-lipped, tone down, tone measurer, tongue-tied, tongueless, transition sound, triphthong, tuning bar, tuning fork, tuning pipe, turn down, unanimated, unconscious, understudy, unfeeling, unloquacious, unsaid, unspoken, untalkative, velar, vocable, vocalic, vocoid, voice, voiced sound, voiceless, voiceless sound, voicing, vowel, walk-on, walking gentleman, word-bound, wordless
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