mute ADJECTIVE 1) refraining from speech or temporarily speechless. 2) dated lacking the power of speech. 3) (of a letter) not pronounced.
NOUN 1) dated a person without the power of speech. 2) historical a professional attendant or mourner at a funeral. 3) a clamp placed over the bridge of a stringed instrument to deaden the resonance of the strings. 4) a pad or cone placed in the opening of a wind instrument.
VERB 1) deaden or muffle the sound of. 2) reduce the strength or intensity of. 3) (muted) (of colour or lighting) not bright; subdued.
DERIVATIVES mutely adverb muteness noun.
USAGE To describe a person without the power of speech as mute (especially as in deaf mute) is today likely to cause offence. Since there are no accepted alternative terms in general use, the solution may be to use a longer construction, such as she is both deaf and unable to speak .
ORIGIN Latin mutus.

English terms dictionary. 2015.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Muteness — Mute ness, n. The quality or state of being mute; speechlessness. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Muteness — or mutism is an inability to speak caused by a speech disorder. The term originates from the Latin word mutus, meaning silent . Contents 1 Causes 2 Variations 3 Coping with mutism 4 …   Wikipedia

  • muteness — (n.) 1580s, from MUTE (Cf. mute) (adj.) + NESS (Cf. ness) …   Etymology dictionary

  • muteness — noun 1. the condition of being unable or unwilling to speak her muteness was a consequence of her deafness • Syn: ↑mutism • Derivationally related forms: ↑mute • Hypernyms: ↑condition, ↑status …   Useful english dictionary

  • muteness — Synonyms and related words: anaudia, aphasia, aphonia, aphrasia, brevity, briefness, brusqueness, conciseness, curtness, deaf muteness, dumbness, economy of words, inarticulateness, jargon aphasia, laconicalness, laconism, loss of speech, motor… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • muteness — noun see mute I …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • muteness — See mutely. * * * …   Universalium

  • muteness — noun The characteristic of being mute …   Wiktionary

  • muteness — (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun The avoidance of speech: dumbness, silence, speechlessness, wordlessness. See WORDS …   English dictionary for students

  • muteness — mjuːtnɪs n. condition of being mute; silence, quietness …   English contemporary dictionary

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