adjective, muter, mutest.
silent; refraining from speech or utterance.
not emitting or having sound of any kind.
incapable of speech; dumb.
(of letters) silent; not pronounced.
Law. (of a person who has been arraigned) making no plea or giving an irrelevant response when arraigned, or refusing to stand trial (used chiefly in the phrase to stand mute ).
Fox Hunting. (of a hound) hunting a line without giving tongue or cry.
Offensive. a person incapable of speech.
an actor whose part is confined to dumb show.
Law. a person who stands mute when arraigned.
Also called sordino. a mechanical device of various shapes and materials for muffling the tone of a musical instrument.
Phonetics. a stop.
British Obsolete. a hired mourner at a funeral; a professional mourner.
verb (used with object), muted, muting.
to deaden or muffle the sound of.
to reduce the intensity of (a color) by the addition of another color.

1325–75; < Latin mūtus dumb; replacing Middle English muet < Middle French, equivalent to Old French mu (< Latin mūtus) + unexplained suffix -et; cf. -et

mutely, adverb
muteness, noun

moot, mute.

1. talkative.

See dumb. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
mute1 (mjuːt)
1.  not giving out sound or speech; silent
2.  unable to speak; dumb
3.  unspoken or unexpressed: mute dislike
4.  law (of a person arraigned on indictment) refusing to answer a charge
5.  phonetics another word for plosive
6.  (of a letter in a word) silent
7.  a person who is unable to speak
8.  law a person who refuses to plead when arraigned on indictment for an offence
9.  any of various devices used to soften the tone of stringed or brass instruments
10.  phonetics a plosive consonant; stop
11.  a silent letter
12.  an actor in a dumb show
13.  a hired mourner at a funeral
14.  to reduce the volume of (a musical instrument) by means of a mute, soft pedal, etc
15.  to subdue the strength of (a colour, tone, lighting, etc)
[C14: muwet from Old French mu, from Latin mūtus silent]
usage  Using this word to refer to people without speech is considered outdated and offensive and should be avoided. The phrase profoundly deaf is a suitable alternative in many contexts.

mute2 (mjuːt)
1.  (of birds) to discharge (faeces)
2.  birds' faeces
[C15: from Old French meutir, variant of esmeltir, of Germanic origin; probably related to smelt1 and melt]

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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Word Origin & History

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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

mute (myōōt)
Unable or unwilling to speak. n.
One who does not have the faculty of speech. No longer in technical use, considered offensive.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
And they have to sit mutely by while their best ideas are either buried or stolen.
They watched, more or less mutely, a computer-model presentation of the options open to this committee.
It mutely endured the experiments of poor generalship.
We see wire mesh barriers on windows and differently shaded tiles on the floor, with mutely colored walls.
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