mutter

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v mutter make complaining remarks or noises under one's breath "she grumbles when she feels overworked"
    • v mutter talk indistinctly; usually in a low voice
    • n mutter a complaint uttered in a low and indistinct tone
    • n mutter a low continuous indistinct sound; often accompanied by movement of the lips without the production of articulate speech
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: After being forced to state in public that the earth does not rotate, Galileo is said to have muttered under his breath, "But it does move."
    • n Mutter Repressed or obscure utterance.
    • Mutter To sound with a low, rumbling noise. "Thick lightnings flash, the muttering thunder rolls."
    • v. t Mutter To utter with imperfect articulations, or with a low voice; as, to mutter threats.
    • Mutter To utter words indistinctly or with a low voice and lips partly closed; esp., to utter indistinct complaints or angry expressions; to grumble; to growl. "Wizards that peep, and that mutter .""Meantime your filthy foreigner will stare,
      And mutter to himself."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • mutter To utter words in a low tone and with compressed lips, as in complaint or sullenness; murmur; grumble.
    • mutter To emit a low rumbling sound.
    • mutter To utter with imperfect articulation, or in a low murmuring tone.
    • n mutter A murmur or murmuring; sullen or veiled utterance.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Mutter mut′ėr to utter words in a low voice: to murmur: to sound with a low, rumbling noise
    • v.t Mutter to utter indistinctly
    • ns Mutter (Milt.) a murmuring
    • ***

Quotations

  • Richard Dreyfuss
    Richard Dreyfuss
    “My worst fear is that I'll end up living in some run-down duplex on Wilshire wearing pants hiked up to my nipples and muttering under my breath.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Prob. of imitative origin; cf. L. muttire, mutire,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. imit., like prov. Ger. mustern; L. muttīre.

Usage

In literature:

It was accompanied by a gesture, and followed by words low muttered.
"The Lone Ranche" by Captain Mayne Reid
Muttered curses occasionally rumbled from the cells where the prisoners were trying to sleep.
"The Eagle's Heart" by Hamlin Garland
Miss Catherwood nodded also, and with muttered thanks Prescott, gathering up the lines, drove on.
"Before the Dawn" by Joseph Alexander Altsheler
What rot muttered Bernard Clark as he read Mr Salteenas letter.
"The Young Visiters or, Mr. Salteena's Plan" by Daisy Ashford
He was heard to mutter something to himself; then he came back.
"Adrift in the Wilds" by Edward S. Ellis
Presently he rose, and with a muttered apology left the room, to return five minutes later carrying a small bottle carefully in his hand.
"A Bid for Fortune" by Guy Boothby
The hour was too still, the night too dark, the scene too ghostly for mutterings.
"Post Haste" by R.M. Ballantyne
Landless, left in darkness, heard a faint muttering as though Master Robert Godwyn were talking to himself.
"Prisoners of Hope" by Mary Johnston
With a muttered reference to his ship, the captain took up his stick and fled.
"Salthaven" by W. W. Jacobs
He mutters it a thousand times a day.
"The Trail of '98" by Robert W. Service
Again they fell to muttering, and so continued until she returned.
"Two Sides of the Face" by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
My men, with heads uncovered, their faces turned towards the sacred peak, were muttering prayers.
"In the Forbidden Land" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor
At the sound of voices, he mutters an oath and skulks away.
"Oswald Langdon" by Carson Jay Lee
The dispute at last ended in a sullen mutter from below and a sudden thudding of hoofs.
"Bloom of Cactus" by Robert Ames Bennet
A man's name is heard among his mutterings, more than once repeated.
"The Death Shot" by Mayne Reid
I heard one of them mutter: `Hullo!
"Chance" by Joseph Conrad
As I listened to the noises in the forest, I fancied that I could hear the roaring and mutterings of lions, and the cries of hyaenas.
"Adventures in Africa" by W.H.G. Kingston
Gilmour brought the horse back to the trough, muttering sullenly.
"The House with the Green Shutters" by George Douglas Brown
Dick flushed, muttered some incoherent thanks, and went off to the station.
"Fifty-Two Stories For Girls" by Various
As he moved past them, he heard their muttered comments.
"Tongues of Conscience" by Robert Smythe Hichens
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In poetry:

Sometimes a distant shout of boys
At play upon the terrace walk,
The shutting of great doors, and noise
Of muttered talk.
"The Poet's Song" by Archibald Lampman
Now terror seiz'd her quaking frame;
For, where the path was bare,
The trotting Ghost kept on the same!
She mutter'd many a pray'r.
"The Fakeham Ghost" by Robert Bloomfield
Then each to other muttered, ``Now at last
Her splendour shall be ours, and we shall slake
Our envy. She is pillowed on her Past,
And will not wake.''
"Pax Britannica" by Alfred Austin
The wind steals in and twirls the candle,
The branches heave and brush the wall,
But more than tree or wild wind mutters
This night, this night of all.
"The Call" by John Freeman
Was it the wind that stirred the trees,
Was it the trees that scratched the wall,
Was it the wall that shook and muttered.
Or Love's last, ghostly call?
"The Call" by John Freeman
An shoo profiside trubble an care,
Wor i' stoor at noa far distant day,
An shoo muttered "poor Sal, aw declare,
Tha's thrown thisen reight cleean away."
"A Pair O' Black Een" by John Hartley

In news:

Can the US take a big bite out of its greenhouse gas emissions without muttering the words climate change.
Quays Focus ' Weeping Glass' On The Mutter Museum.
And some of the old standards might be muttered right along with it.
You can almost hear the muttering among bankers about the tough-love they're going to face.
Two weeks ago the word around the Titans was that the worst was over, the storm had been weathered and a much brighter second half of the season loomed with words like "contender" muttered and "playoffs" whispered.
The teachers in my row muttered "… President … Dallas … Governor Connally …" and then came the announcement: "Please pray for the president, who is very ill.".
Anne-Sophie Mutter played five concertos with the BSO.
It was a brilliant stroke, on a marketing level alone, to have Mutter as soloist and conductor for all five Mozart concertos to open the BSO season.
Her husband, Tim, began muttering.
Walking up the steps for a tour, he can only mutter one word: Beautiful.
Murdoch 's News Corp. And that leads to a second important rationale for Murdoch 's decision, according to tech consultant and former newspaper executive, Alan Mutter.
Philadelphia has plenty of great places to eat, but you might want to save them for later if you're visiting the Mutter Museum .
He panhandles sometimes and mutters to himself.
But Rep Gohmert's mutterings shouldn't actually bother us.
Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland admits he muttered a profanity as he walked away from a fan after an unfriendly conversation at halftime of the team's most recent game.
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In science:

The shaman declares that he must consult with the wind spirits, and then spends a couple of minutes chanting and muttering.
Compression Rate Method for Empirical Science and Application to Computer Vision
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