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[uht-er-ing] /ˈʌt ər ɪŋ/
noun, Law.
the crime of knowingly tendering or showing a forged instrument or counterfeit coin to another with intent to defraud.
Origin of uttering
1350-1400; Middle English; see utter1, -ing1


[uht-er] /ˈʌt ər/
verb (used with object)
to give audible expression to; speak or pronounce:
unable to utter her feelings; Words were uttered in my hearing.
to give forth (cries, notes, etc.) with the voice:
to utter a sigh.
Phonetics. to produce (speech sounds, speechlike sounds, syllables, words, etc.) audibly, with or without reference to formal language.
to express (oneself or itself), especially in words.
to give forth (a sound) otherwise than with the voice:
The engine uttered a shriek.
to express by written or printed words.
to make publicly known; publish:
to utter a libel.
to put into circulation, as coins, notes, and especially counterfeit money or forged checks.
to expel; emit.
Obsolete. to publish, as a book.
Obsolete. to sell.
verb (used without object)
to employ the faculty of speech; use the voice to talk, make sounds, etc.:
His piety prevented him from uttering on religion.
to sustain utterance; undergo speaking:
Those ideas are so dishonest they will not utter.
1350-1400; Middle English outren (see out, -er6); cognate with German äussern to declare
Related forms
utterable, adjective
utterer, noun
utterless, adjective
unuttered, adjective
Can be confused
udder, utter. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for uttering
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • uttering a wild savage shout, the drunken sailor sprang over the corpse, followed by his comrades in crime.

    The Ruined Cities of Zululand Hugh Mulleneux Walmsley
  • After uttering these words the Professor walked away from the table.

    The Secret Agent Joseph Conrad
  • The finch calls its mate by uttering a few notes followed by a long trill.

  • Flora, uttering these words in a deep voice, enjoyed herself immensely.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • He delivered the law to the world as if Potsdam was another Sinai, and he was uttering the law from the thunder clouds.

    Winning a Cause John Gilbert Thompson and Inez Bigwood
  • Hugh would have prevented his uttering the word, but it was out already.

    Barnaby Rudge Charles Dickens
  • uttering the curious sound peculiar to grizzlies, the brute made as though it would approach still closer.

    Brave and True George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for uttering


to give audible expression to (something): to utter a growl
(criminal law) to put into circulation (counterfeit coin, forged banknotes, etc)
(transitive) to make publicly known; publish: to utter slander
(obsolete) to give forth, issue, or emit
Derived Forms
utterable, adjective
utterableness, noun
utterer, noun
utterless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: probably originally a commercial term, from Middle Dutch ūteren (modern Dutch uiteren) to make known; related to Middle Low German ūtern to sell, show


(prenominal) (intensifier): an utter fool, utter bliss, the utter limit
Word Origin
C15: from Old English utera outer, comparative of ūteout (adv); related to Old High German ūzaro, Old Norse ūtri
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for uttering



"complete, total," Old English utera, uterra, "outer," comparative adjective formed from ut (see out), from Proto-Germanic *utizon (cf. Old Norse utar, Old Frisian uttra, Middle Dutch utere, Dutch uiter-, Old High German uzar, German äußer "outer").


"speak, say," c.1400, in part from Middle Low German utern "to turn out, show, speak," from uter "outer," comparative adj. formed from ut "out;" in part from Middle English verb outen "to disclose," from Old English utan "to put out," from ut (see out). Cf. German äussern "to utter, express," from aus "out;" and colloquial phrase out with it "speak up!" Formerly also used as a commercial verb (as release is now). Related: Uttered; uttering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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