dumb ADJECTIVE 1) unable to speak; lacking the power of speech. 2) temporarily unable or unwilling to speak. 3) informal, chiefly N. Amer. stupid. 4) (of a computer terminal) having no independent processing capability.
VERB 1) (dumb down) N. Amer. informal make or become less intellectually challenging. 2) literary silence.
DERIVATIVES dumbly adverb dumbness noun.
USAGE Avoid dumb in the sense meaning ‘not able to speak’, as it likely to cause offence; use alternatives such as speech-impaired.
ORIGIN Old English.

English terms dictionary. 2015.

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