Share this entry

mutter Line breaks: mut¦ter
Pronunciation: /ˈmʌtə/

Definition of mutter in English:


[reporting verb]
1Say something in a low or barely audible voice, especially in dissatisfaction or irritation: [with object]: he muttered something under his breath [with direct speech]: ‘I knew she was a troublemaker,’ Rebecca muttered
More example sentences
  • She replied so quietly that he could barely hear her voice muttering her name.
  • He was heard muttering in a barely audible voice.
  • As he leaves, he mutters something that was barely heard.
talk under one's breath, murmur, mumble, whisper, speak in an undertone, speak sotto voce, speak in hushed tones;
talk to oneself
1.1 [no object] Talk or grumble in secret or in private: back-benchers were muttering about the next reshuffle
More example sentences
  • Still, it was easier to mutter in private and unsettle his wife with threats of going public than actually doing anything.
  • By 11, his colleagues had not arrived and several people began muttering over their absence.
  • The four friends and the men begin muttering, then asking us loudly why only she got the money, then arguing with her.
informal gripe, beef, bitch, whinge, sound off
British informal chunter, grizzle
Northern English informal mither
North American informal kvetch


Back to top  
A barely audible utterance, especially one expressing dissatisfaction or irritation: a little mutter of disgust
More example sentences
  • He spoke, his words rising over the mutters and squeals of the living victims.
  • Not a sound, not a mutter, not a murmur, not a syllable has passed through its member's lips, and those lips are being paid $100,000 a year for doing zilch - nothing.
  • It is a disgrace, and we will not - unlike other parties - sit here mute, without a syllable, a sound, a mutter, or a murmur, and put up with it.


Late Middle English: imitative; compare with German dialect muttern.



Pronunciation: /ˈmʌtərə/
Example sentences
  • But the growth of this feeling of powerlessness has accelerated, and it's very discouraging: the more the mutterers repeat their mantra, the closer to reality does it become.
  • Pressing your ear to the speaker for a particularly quiet piece, you find yourself within kissing distance of his mutterers and monologists.
  • I wish I'd gotten him myself, but I forgive you - and it ought to put paid to the rest of the mutterers, don't you think?

Words that rhyme with mutter

abutter, aflutter, butter, Calcutta, clutter, constructor, cutter, declutter, flutter, gutter, nutter, scutter, shutter, splutter, sputter, strutter, stutter, utter

Definition of mutter in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coiffeur
Pronunciation: kwɑːˈfəː
a hairdresser