Mute (?), v. t. [L. mutare to change. See Molt.]

To cast off; to molt.

Have I muted all my feathers? Beau. & Fl.


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Mute, v. t. & i. [F. mutir, 'emeutir, OF. esmeltir, fr. OD. smelten, prop., to melt. See Smelt.]

To eject the contents of the bowels; -- said of birds.

B. Jonson.


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Mute, n.

The dung of birds.



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Mute, a. [L. mutus; cf. Gr. to shut, Skr. mta bound, mka dumb: cf. OE. muet, fr. F. muet, a dim. of OF. mu, L. mutus.]


Not speaking; uttering no sound; silent.

All the heavenly choir stood mute, And silence was in heaven. Milton.

In law a prisoner is said to stand mute, when, upon being arranged, he makes no answer, or does not plead directly, or will not put himself on trial.


Incapable of speaking; dumb.



Not uttered; unpronounced; silent; also, produced by complete closure of the mouth organs which interrupt the passage of breath; -- said of certain letters. See 5th Mute, 2.


Not giving a ringing sound when struck; -- said of a metal.

Mute swan Zool., a European wild white swan (Cygnus gibbus), which produces no loud notes.<-- in distinction from the Trumpeter swan -->

Syn. -- Silent; dumb; speechless. -- Mute, Silent, Dumb. One is silent who does not speak; one is dumb who can not, for want of the proper organs; as, a dumb beast, etc.; and hence, figuratively, we speak of a person as struck dumb with astonishment, etc. One is mute who is held back from speaking by some special cause; as, he was mute through fear; mute astonishment, etc. Such is the case with most of those who never speak from childhood; they are not ordinarily dumb, but mute because they are deaf, and therefore never learn to talk; and hence their more appropriate name is deaf-mutes.

They spake not a word; But, like dumb statues, or breathing stones, Gazed each on other. Shak.

All sat mute, Pondering the danger with deep thoughts. Milton.


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Mute, n.


One who does not speak, whether from physical inability, unwillingness, or other cause.

Specifically: (a)

One who, from deafness, either congenital or from early life, is unable to use articulate language; a deaf-mute.


A person employed by undertakers at a funeral.


A person whose part in a play does not require him to speak.


Among the Turks, an officer or attendant who is selected for his place because he can not speak.

2. Phon.

A letter which represents no sound; a silent letter; also, a close articulation; an element of speech formed by a position of the mouth organs which stops the passage of the breath; as, p, b, d, k, t.

3. Mus.

A little utensil made of brass, ivory, or other material, so formed that it can be fixed in an erect position on the bridge of a violin, or similar instrument, in order to deaden or soften the tone.


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