the mouth, or end for discharge, of the barrel of a gun, pistol, etc.
the projecting part of the head of an animal, including jaws, mouth, and nose. See diag. under dog.
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.
to put a muzzle on (an animal or its mouth) so as to prevent biting, eating, etc.
to restrain from speech, the expression of opinion, etc.: The censors muzzled the press.
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.

1350–1400; Middle English musel < Middle French < Medieval Latin mūsellum, diminutive of mūsum snout < ?

5. silence, quiet, still, supress. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
muzzle (ˈmʌzəl)
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
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)
[C15 mosel, from Old French musel, diminutive of muse snout, from Medieval Latin mūsus, of unknown origin]

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., "device put over an animal's mouth to stop it from biting, eating, or rooting," from O.Fr. musel (12c.), from muse "muzzle," from Gallo-Romance *musa "snout," of unknown origin, possibly related to L. morsus "bite." Meaning "projecting part of the head of an animal" is from c.1410; sense of
"open end of a firearm" first recorded 1566. The verb meaning "to put a muzzle on" is first recorded c.1470.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Muzzle definition

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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