late 14c., mewet "silent," from O.Fr. muet, dim. of mut, mo, from L. mutus "silent, dumb," probably from imitative base *mu- (cf. Skt. mukah "dumb," Gk. myein "to be shut," of the mouth). Assimilated in form in 16c. to L. mutus. The verb is first attested 1861. Related: Muted; muting. Musical noun sense first recorded 1811, of stringed instruments, 1841, of horns.