murmur

[mur-mer]
noun
1.
a low, continuous sound, as of a brook, the wind, or trees, or of low, indistinct voices.
2.
a mumbled or private expression of discontent.
3.
Also called heart murmur. Medicine/Medical.
a.
an abnormal sound heard on listening to the heart, usually through a stethoscope, produced by the blood passing through deformed cardiac valves.
b.
in some persons a similar sound heard when blood passes through normal valves.
4.
Phonetics. a voice quality in which vibration of the vocal cords is accompanied by the escape of a great deal of air, as in the (h) of ahead; breathy voice.
verb (used without object)
5.
to make a low or indistinct sound, especially continuously.
6.
to speak in a low tone or indistinctly.
7.
to complain in a low tone or in private.
verb (used with object)
8.
to sound by murmurs.
9.
to utter in a low tone: He murmured a threat as he left the room.

Origin:
1275–1325; (v.) Middle English murmuren < Latin murmurāre; (noun) Middle English < Latin

murmurer, noun
murmurless, adjective
murmurlessly, adverb
unmurmured, adjective
unmurmuring, adjective
unmurmuringly, adverb


1. grumble, susurration, mumble, complaint, mutter. 6. Murmur, mumble, mutter mean to make sounds that are not fully intelligible. To murmur is to utter sounds or words in a low, almost inaudible tone, as in expressing affection or dissatisfaction: to murmur disagreement. To mumble is to utter imperfect or inarticulate sounds with the mouth partly closed, so that the words can be distinguished only with difficulty: to mumble the answer to a question. To mutter is to utter words in a low, grumbling way, often voicing complaint or discontent, not meant to be fully audible: to mutter complaints. 7. grouse.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
murmur (ˈmɜːmə)
 
n
1.  a continuous low indistinct sound, as of distant voices
2.  an indistinct utterance: a murmur of satisfaction
3.  a complaint; grumble: he made no murmur at my suggestion
4.  med See also heart murmur any abnormal soft blowing sound heard within the body, usually over the chest
 
vb , -murs, -muring, -mured
5.  to utter (something) in a murmur
6.  (intr) to complain in a murmur
 
[C14: as n, from Latin murmur; vb via Old French murmurer from Latin murmurāre to rumble]
 
'murmurer
 
n
 
'murmuring
 
n, —adj
 
'murmuringly
 
adv
 
'murmurous
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

murmur
late 14c., "expression of discontent by grumbling," from O.Fr. murmure (12c.), noun of action from murmurer, from L. murmurare, from murmur (n.) "a hum, muttering, rushing," probably from a PIE reduplicative base *mor-mor, of imitative origin (cf. Skt. murmurah "crackling fire," Gk. mormyrein "to roar,
boil," Lith. murmlenti "to murmur"). Meaning "softly spoken words" is from 1670s. The verb is first attested late 14c. Related: Murmured; murmuring.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

murmur mur·mur (mûr'mər)
n.
An abnormal sound heard on auscultation of the heart, lungs, or blood vessels.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

murmur

in phonetics, a speech sound or quality used in some languages, produced by vibrating vocal cords that are less tense than in normal speech, which produces local turbulence in the airstream resulting in a compromise between full voice and whisper. English speakers produce a vocal fry when suggesting ghost wails with an oo-sound. See also voice; whisper.

Learn more about murmur with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The roar of the engines will be muted to a murmur by sound insulation in the
  fuselage.
For decades the annual negotiations generated barely a murmur of interest from
  outsiders.
Every time he touched the ball, a murmur went through the crowd.
There is a mild murmur of approval from the group.
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