utter
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈʌtə/, [ˈɐtə]
  • (America) IPA: /ˈʌtɚ/, [ˈʌɾɚ]
Adjective

utter (not comparable)

  1. (now poetic, literary) Outer; furthest out, most remote. [from 10th c.]
    • By him a shirt and utter mantle laid.
    • As doth an hidden moth / The inner garment fret, not th' utter touch.
    • 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 ↗:
      Through utter and through middle darkness borne.
  2. (obsolete) Outward. [13th–16th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Matthew XXIII:
      Wo be to you scrybes and pharises ypocrites, for ye make clene the utter side off the cuppe, and off the platter: but within they are full of brybery and excesse.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.10:
      So forth without impediment I past, / Till to the Bridges utter gate I came […] .
  3. Absolute, unconditional, total, complete. [from 15th c.]
    utter ruin; utter darkness
    • They […] are utter strangers to all those anxious thoughts which disquiet mankind.
Synonyms Translations Verb

utter (utters, present participle uttering; past and past participle uttered)

  1. (transitive) To produce (speech or other sounds) with one's voice.
    Synonyms: let out, say, speak
    Don't you utter another word!
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Book of Proverbs 1.20,
      Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
    • 1748, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Roderick Random, London: J. Osborn, Volume 2, Chapter 50, p. 156,
      […] he made no other reply, for some time, than lifting up his eyes, clasping his hands, and uttering a hollow groan.
    • 1868, Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Boston: Roberts Brothers, Volume 1, Chapter 17, p. 263,
      […] Laurie slyly pulled the parrot’s tail, which caused Polly to utter an astonished croak,
  2. (transitive) To reveal or express (an idea, thought, desire, etc.) with speech.
    Synonyms: declare, say, tell
    • 1644, John Milton, Areopagitica, London, p. 35,
      Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Dublin: John Smith, Volume 1, Book 2, Chapter 6, p. 77,
      […] tho’ a few odd Fellows will utter their own Sentiments in all Places, yet much the greater Part of Mankind have enough of the Courtier to accommodate their Conversation to the Taste and Inclination of their Superiors.
    • 1871, George Eliot, Middlemarch, Edinburgh: William Blackwood, Volume 4, Part 2, Book 8, Chapter 83, p. 323,
      Each had been full of thoughts which neither of them could begin to utter.
    • 1959, Muriel Spark, Memento Mori (novel), New York: Time, 1964, Chapter , p. 213,
      “Your master,” he declared, “has uttered a damnable lie about a dead friend of mine.”
    • 1995, Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance (novel), Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, Part 11, p. 528,
      “Don’t worry about me,” he uttered with minimum lip movement.
  3. (transitive, figurative) To produce (a noise) (of an inanimate object).
    Synonyms: emit, let out
    Sally's car uttered a hideous shriek when she applied the brakes.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To spit or blow (something) out of one's mouth.
    • 1819, Washington Irving, “Rip van Winkle” in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., London: John Murray, 3rd ed., 1820, Volume 1, p. 79,
      He looked in vain for the sage Nicholas Vedder, with his broad face, double chin, and fair long pipe, uttering clouds of tobacco smoke instead of idle speeches;
    • 1821, Charles Lamb, “The Old Benchers of the Inner Temple” in The London Magazine, Volume 4, No. 21, September 1821, p. 280,
      Four little winged marble boys used to play their virgin fancies, spouting out ever fresh streams from their innocent-wanton lips, in the square of Lincoln’s-inn […] Are the stiff-wigged living figures, that still flitter and chatter about that area, less gothic in appearance? or, is the splutter of their hot rhetoric one half so refreshing and innocent, as the little cool playful streams those exploded cherubs uttered?
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To emit or give off (breath).
    • circa 1595 William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act IV, Scene 2,
      […] most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath;
    • 1629, William Davenant, The Tragedy of Albovine, King of the Lombards, London: R. Moore, Act I, Scene 1,
      […] now the King forsakes
      The Campe, he must maintaine luxurious mouthes,
      Such as can vtter perfum’d breath,
  6. (transitive, archaic) To shed (a tear or tears).
    • 1615, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher (playwright), Cupid's Revenge, London: Josias Harrison, Act V, Scene 1,
      […] weepe now or neuer, thou hast made more sorrowes then we haue eyes to vtter.
    • 1928, Robert Byron, The Station: Travels to the Holy Mountain of Greece, Bloomsbury, 2010, Chapter 6,[https://books.google.ca/books?id=g0MwzAEACAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=editions:ISBN0857718207]
      […] a mythological matron, in a classical helmet, uttering a tear at a rustic cross bound in blue and white ribbons and inscribed TO THE FALLEN—1912,
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To offer (something) for sale; to sell.
    • 1577, Raphael Holinshed et al., Holinshed's Chronicles, London: John Hunne, The History of Ireland,
      […] certayne Merchants […] obteyned licence safely to arriue here in Ireland with their wares, and to vtter the same.
    • circa 1594 Romeo and Juliet, Act V, Scene 1,
      Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua’s law
      Is death to any he that utters them.
    • 1605, Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, London: Henry Tomes, Book 2, p. 72,
      […] at the Olimpian games […] some cam as Merchants to vtter their commodities,
    • 1722, Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year, London: E. Nutt et al., p. 51,
      No infected Stuff [i.e. items made of cloth] to be uttered.
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To put (currency) into circulation.
    Synonyms: circulate
    • 1564, Proclamation of Elizabeth I of England dated November, 1564, London: Richard Jugge and John Cawood, 1565,
      […] there are […] forrayne peeces of golde, of the like quantitie and fashion (although of lesse value) lyke to an Englyshe Angell, brought hyther, and here vttered and payde for ten shyllynges of syluer, beyng for they lacke of wayght, and for the basenesse of the allay, not worth. vii. shillinges, to the great deceite and losse of the subiectes of this her Realme:
    • 1735, Jonathan Swift, Drapier's Letters, Letter 3, in The Works of Jonathan Swift, Dublin: George Faulkner, Volume 4, p. 123,
      There is nothing remaining to preserve us from Ruin, but that the whole Kingdom should continue in a firm determinate Resolution never to receive or utter this FATAL Coin:
    • 1842, cited in Supplement to The Jurist, containing a Digest of All the Reported Cases […] published during the year 1842, p. 49,
      If two persons jointly prepare counterfeit coin, and then utter it in different shops, apart from each other, but in concert, and intending to share the proceeds, the utterings of each are the joint utterings of both, and they may be convicted jointly.
  9. (transitive, obsolete) To show (something that has been hidden); to reveal the identity of (someone).
    • 1535, Miles Coverdale, Coverdale Bible, Book of Genesis 45.1,
      […] there stode no man by him, whan Ioseph vttred him self vnto his brethren.
    • 1561, William Whittingham et al. (translators), Geneva Bible, Gospel of Mark 3.12,
      And he [Jesus] sharpely rebuked them [the unclean spirits], to the end they shulde not vtter him.
  10. (transitive, obsolete) To send or put (something) out.
    • 1548, Edward Hall, The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Famelies of Lancastre [and] Yorke, London: Richard Grafton, Henry VI, year 37,
      As fier beyng enclosed in a strayte place, wil by force vtter his flamme […]
    • 1579, Edmund Spenser, The Shepheardes Calender, London: Hugh Singleton, “March,” Aegloga Tertia,
      Seest not thilke same Hawthorne stud#Etymology_2|studde,
      How bragly it beginnes to budde,
      And vtter his tender head?
Translations
Utter
Proper noun
  1. Surname



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