Middle English: from Old French muet, diminutive of mu, from Latin mutus
1 To describe a person without the power of speech as mute (especially as in deaf-mute) is today likely to cause offense and is often regarded as outdated. Nevertheless, there is no directly equivalent term for mute in general use, apart from speech-impaired. The term profoundly deaf may be used to imply that a person has not developed any spoken language skills. See also deaf-mute (usage). 2 Is it mute point or moot point? See moot (usage).