mute
Pronunciation
  • (British) enPR: myo͞ot, IPA: /mjuːt/
Adjective

mute (comparative muter, superlative mutest)

  1. Not having the power of speech; dumb. [from 15th c.]
    • 1717 Ovid: Metamorphoses, translated by John Dryden et al.
      Thus, while the mute creation downward bend / Their sight, and to their earthly mother tend, / Man looks aloft; and with erected eyes / Beholds his own hereditary skies. / From such rude principles our form began; / And earth was metamorphos'd into Man.
  2. Silent; not making a sound. [from 15th c.]
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 3”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker […] [a]nd by Robert Boulter […] [a]nd Matthias Walker, […], OCLC 228722708 ↗; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, OCLC 230729554 ↗:
      All the heavenly choir stood mute, / And silence was in heaven.
    • 1956, Ernst Kaiser and Eithne Wilkins (?, translators), Lion Feuchtwanger (German author), Raquel: The Jewess of Toledo (translation of Die Jüdin von Toledo),[http://books.google.com/books?id=sgBKAAAAMAAJ ] Messner, page 178:
      “ […] The heathens have broken into Thy Temple, and Thou art silent! Esau mocks Thy Children, and Thou remainest mute! Show thyself, arise, and let Thy Voice resound, Thou mutest among all the mute!”
  3. Not uttered; unpronounced; silent; also, produced by complete closure of the mouth organs which interrupt the passage of breath; said of certain letters.
  4. Not giving a ringing sound when struck; said of a metal.
Translations Translations Noun

mute (plural mutes)

  1. (phonetics, now historical) A stopped consonant; a stop. [from 16th c.]
    Synonyms: occlusive, plosive, stop
  2. (obsolete, theatre) An actor who does not speak; a mime performer. [16th-19th c.]
    • 1668 OF Dramatick Poesie, AN ESSAY. By JOHN DRYDEN Esq; (John Dryden)
      As for the poor honest Maid, whom all the Story is built upon, and who ought to be one of the principal Actors in the Play, she is commonly a Mute in it:
  3. A person who does not have the power of speech. [from 17th c.]
  4. A hired mourner at a funeral; an undertaker's assistant. [from 18th c.]
    • 1950, Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast
      The little box was eventually carried in one hand by the leading mute, while his colleague, with a finger placed on the lid, to prevent it from swaying, walked to one side and a little to the rear.
    • 1978, Lawrence Durrell, Livia, Faber & Faber 1992 (Avignon Quintet), p. 481:
      Then followed a long silence during which the mute turned to them and said, ‘Of course you'll be wanting an urn, sir?’
  5. (music) An object for dulling the sound of an instrument, especially a brass instrument, or damper for pianoforte; a sordine. [from 18th c.]
  6. An electronic switch or control that mutes the sound.
    • 2012, Tomlinson Holman, Sound for Film and Television (page 174)
      Another related primary control is called a mute, which is simply a switch that kills the signal altogether, allowing for a speedier turn-off than turning the fader all the way down rapidly. Mutes are probably more commonly used during multitrack music recording than during film mixing because in music all tracks are on practically all of the time, whereas workstations produce silence when there is no desired signal […]
  7. A mute swan.
    • 1998, Bob Devine, ‎National Geographic Society (U.S.), Alien invasion: America's battle with non-native animals and plants
      The trumpeters' fate seems likely to get tangled with that of the mute swan. Currently there's enough habitat for both species, but that may change if trumpeters flourish and mutes aren't controlled. Right now mutes are thriving.
Translations Translations Verb

mute (mutes, present participle muting; past and past participle muted)

  1. (transitive) To silence, to make quiet.
  2. (transitive) To turn off the sound of.
    Please mute the music while I make a call.
Translations Translations
  • French: couper le son
  • Spanish: apagar el sonido, desactivar el sonido, silenciar
Verb

mute (mutes, present participle muting; past and past participle muted)

  1. (now rare) Of a bird: to defecate. [from 15th c.]
    • 1946, George Orwell, Animal Farm, Signet Classics, pages 40–41:
      All the pigeons, to the number of thirty-five, flew to and fro over the men's heads and muted upon them from mid-air;...
Noun

mute (plural mutes)

  1. The faeces of a hawk or falcon.
Verb

mute (mutes, present participle muting; past and past participle muted)

  1. (transitive) To cast off; to moult.
    • 1633 May 11 (licensing date), John Fletcher; James Shirley, “The Night-Walker, or The Little Thief. A Comedy.”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1679, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 4, scene 4:
      Have I muted all my feathers?



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