Definition of murmur in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmərmər/


1A soft, indistinct sound made by a person or group of people speaking quietly or at a distance: his voice was little more than a murmur
More example sentences
  • There was a soft murmur in the distance - a distant chatter of nurses and peeved senior citizens.
  • She remembered the feeling of the rough-hewn walls against her fingertips and the soft murmur of voices that sounded like the stone was speaking to her, but no directions.
  • I pushed open the front door, and immediately heard the soft, worried murmur of voices from the den.
1.1A softly spoken or almost inaudible utterance: she accepted his offer with a quiet murmur of thanks
More example sentences
  • I let out a breath, along with a little murmur of thanks to whatever god might be up there.
  • ‘I'll teach you,’ he kept muttering, though his murmurs were nearly indecipherable.
  • With a murmur of thanks he took it from me and began rapidly riffling through the pages until he came to ‘The Phoenix and the Turtle.’
1.2The quiet or subdued expression of a particular feeling by a group of people: there was a murmur of approval from the crowd
More example sentences
  • After that psychological barrier was passed, the remaining scrambles and squeezes were negotiated with relative ease, and any mutinous murmurs were thankfully subdued.
  • Her haggard face and melancholy expression elicited a murmur of shock from the assemblage of reporters as she moved to the podium and began to speak.
  • Nary a murmur of dissent was voiced amongst the remarkably relaxed muso crowd.
whisper, undertone, mutter, mumble
complaint, grumble, grouse
informal gripe, moan
1.3A rumor: he had heard hints only, murmurs
1.4A low continuous sound: the murmur of bees in the rhododendrons
More example sentences
  • Cath watched long enough that the sounds in the cafeteria became a distant murmur, a sort of background noise to her thoughts.
  • The whole medical section was silent for a moment save for the hum of equipment, then the background murmur started again.
  • Snow-like petals carpeted the lawn, softening the sound of footsteps to a distant murmur.
hum, humming, buzz, buzzing, thrum, thrumming, drone;
sigh, rustle
literary susurration, murmuration
1.5 Medicine A recurring sound heard in the heart through a stethoscope that is usually a sign of disease or damage.
Example sentences
  • A doctor may suspect aortic valve sclerosis on hearing a heart murmur with a stethoscope.
  • Sometimes, a doctor can determine with the stethoscope alone whether a particular murmur is a sign of heart disease.
  • A murmur is heard through a stethoscope as the heart beats.
1.6 informal A condition in which the heart produces or is apt to produce a recurring sound indicative of disease or damage: she had been born with a heart murmur
More example sentences
  • He was starving and suffering from a broken leg and heart murmur.
  • Symptoms include fever, swollen joints, chest pains or other signs of heart problems, including heart murmurs and congestive heart failure.
  • Her past medical history was unremarkable, except for a heart murmur.


[reporting verb]
1Say something in a low, soft, or indistinct voice: [with object]: Nina murmured an excuse and hurried away [with direct speech]: “How interesting,” he murmured quietly
More example sentences
  • I am so caught up in thinking about the stark contrast that I don't hear the voices murmuring softly behind the door.
  • A hand stroked my hair and the voice murmured reassurances.
  • The other woman, her voice lower, murmured some words of consolation to her friend.
1.1 [no object] Make a low continuous sound: the wind was murmuring through the trees
More example sentences
  • You will have just the sound of the wilderness, the wind murmuring through the trees and the sound of your reel as another big fish bends your stick while you and other members of your family who fish enjoy some great sport.
  • The audience was murmuring, but Gwion continued with his speech.
  • The air was luminous; a faint south wind murmured in the pine tops.
mutter, mumble, whisper, talk under one's breath, speak softly
rustle, sigh;
burble, purl
literary whisper
1.2Say something cautiously and discreetly: [no object]: they began to murmur of an uprising
More example sentences
  • Over time, the agreeable questioning seemed to stimulate unrest in the audience, which began to murmur its displeasure.
  • Students began murmuring again, debating the relationship between the two.
  • As soon as the carriage left the inn yard, she had begun murmuring about the speed of the trip.
1.3 [no object] (murmur against) archaic Express one’s discontent about (someone or something) in a subdued manner.
Example sentences
  • The murmurs against Bruno's physical and mental stamina had already begun.
  • But the scribes and the Pharisees murmured against his disciples, saying, ‘Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?’
complain, mutter, grumble, grouse
informal gripe, moan


without a murmur

Without complaining.
Example sentences
  • I was now ready to bear whatever might ensue without a murmur.
  • Many would have expected the matter to have been discussed at last month's county board meeting but it was passed over by delegates without a murmur, with the post left vacant.
  • Sure, I had to empty the hopper rather more frequently, and ended up with two sacks of cuttings rather than one, but the mower handled the job of cutting two week's growth without a murmur.





Pronunciation: /ˈmərm(ə)rəs/
Example sentences
  • Jacqueline du Pre was a gawky 20 year-old with a dazzling smile when she stepped into Kingsway Hall, Holborn, on August 19, 1965 to find Sir John Barbirolli on the rostrum and the London Symphony Orchestra in murmurous mood.
  • A more immediately evident reference to the goat-being sequence is in Joyce's use of ‘hither and thither’ to indicate a murmurous, tactile speech-act.
  • The liquid coursed down the fabric in rivulets and emptied into a semicircular metal basin below, producing the murmurous sound of a steady downpour.


Late Middle English: from Old French murmure, from murmurer 'to murmur', from Latin murmurare, from murmur 'a murmur'.

Words that rhyme with murmur

affirmer, Burma, derma, Irma, squirmer, terra firma, wormer

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mur·mur

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