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Denotation vs. Connotation

muzzle

[muhz-uh l] /ˈmʌz əl/
noun
1.
the mouth, or end for discharge, of the barrel of a gun, pistol, etc.
2.
the projecting part of the head of an animal, including jaws, mouth, and nose.
3.
a device, usually an arrangement of straps or wires, placed over an animal's mouth to prevent the animal from biting, eating, etc.
verb (used with object), muzzled, muzzling.
4.
to put a muzzle on (an animal or its mouth) so as to prevent biting, eating, etc.
5.
to restrain from speech, the expression of opinion, etc.:
The censors muzzled the press.
6.
Nautical. to attach the cable to the stock of (an anchor) by means of a light line to permit the anchor to be pulled loose readily.
Origin of muzzle
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English musel < Middle French < Medieval Latin mūsellum, diminutive of mūsum snout < ?
Synonyms
5. silence, quiet, still, supress.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for muzzle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The cock was down, the pan and muzzle were black with the smoke; it had been that instant fired.

    Waverley Sir Walter Scott
  • And Yates, taking the weapon by the muzzle, tossed it as far as he could into the field.

  • The muzzle of his rifle wobbled more than ever when he tried to aim.

    Jack Ranger's Gun Club Clarence Young
  • Five of our ships were engaged muzzle to muzzle with five of the French.

  • My new gun went off while I was fooling with it, with my hand over the muzzle.

    Ranson's Folly Richard Harding Davis
British Dictionary definitions for muzzle

muzzle

/ˈmʌzəl/
noun
1.
the projecting part of the face, usually the jaws and nose, of animals such as the dog and horse
2.
a guard or strap fitted over an animal's nose and jaws to prevent it biting or eating
3.
the front end of a gun barrel
verb (transitive)
4.
to prevent from being heard or noticed: to muzzle the press
5.
to put a muzzle on (an animal)
6.
to take in (a sail)
Derived Forms
muzzler, noun
Word Origin
C15 mosel, from Old French musel, diminutive of muse snout, from Medieval Latin mūsus, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for muzzle
n.

late 14c., "device put over an animal's mouth to stop it from biting, eating, or rooting," from Old French musel "muzzle," also "snout, nose" (12c., Modern French museau), from muse "muzzle," from Gallo-Romance *musa "snout" (cf. Provençal mus, Old Spanish mus, Italian muso), of unknown origin, possibly related to Latin morsus "bite" (but OED finds "serious difficulties" with this). Meaning "projecting part of the head of an animal" is from early 15c. in English; sense of "open end of a firearm" first recorded 1560s.

v.

"to put a muzzle on," early 15c., from muzzle (n.). Figurative use from 1610s. Related: Muzzled; muzzling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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muzzle in the Bible

Grain in the East is usually thrashed by the sheaves being spread out on a floor, over which oxen and cattle are driven to and fro, till the grain is trodden out. Moses ordained that the ox was not to be muzzled while thrashing. It was to be allowed to eat both the grain and the straw (Deut. 25:4). (See AGRICULTURE.)

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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