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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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dumbness — Dumb ness, n. The quality or state of being dumb; muteness; silence; inability to speak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dumbness — can refer to: * Speech disorder * Stupidity …   Wikipedia

  • dumbness — noun see dumb I …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dumbness — See dumbly. * * * …   Universalium

  • dumbness — noun a) The state of being dumb (either mute or dim witted), that is, not communicating vocally, whether from selective mutism or from an inability to speak. 1611 Shakespeare, William [first known show, 15 May 1611; posthumous publication, 1623] …   Wiktionary

  • dumbness — n. see mutism …   Medical dictionary

  • dumbness — Synonyms and related words: anaudia, aphasia, aphonia, asininity, blockishness, boobishness, boorishness, bovinity, brevity, briefness, brusqueness, cloddishness, conciseness, crassness, crudeness, curtness, deaf muteness, denseness, density, dim …   Moby Thesaurus

  • dumbness — I (New American Roget s College Thesaurus) n. aphonia, muteness, aphony, mutism; deaf mutism, voicelessness; silence, taciturnity, inarticulateness; informal, ignorance. II (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun The avoidance of speech: muteness, silence,… …   English dictionary for students

  • dumbness — n. muteness, speechlessness, inability to speak; stupidity …   English contemporary dictionary

  • dumbness — dumb·ness …   English syllables

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