Definition of muzzle in English:


Line breaks: muz¦zle
Pronunciation: /ˈmʌz(ə)l


  • 1The projecting part of the face, including the nose and mouth, of an animal such as a dog or horse: she patted the horse’s velvety muzzle
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    • She handed treats over the fence to five horses and caressed their muzzles, then turned to wave to journalists before heading inside again.
    • I nodded and outstretched my hand, petting the muzzle of the horse, letting it get used to me before I swung myself up on its bare back.
    • The horse shoved his muzzle malevolently against the spaniel's face, eyeball to eyeball.
    snout, nose, mouth, jaws, maw
  • 1.1A guard, typically made of straps or wire, fitted over an animal’s muzzle to stop it biting or feeding: the law says that pit bull terriers have to wear a muzzle
    More example sentences
    • In photographs designed to raise gamblers' adrenaline levels, the dogs tear around a race track after a fake rabbit, the whites of their eyes glinting and their jaws straining against their wire muzzles.
    • And so now I find myself explaining to anyone who I see while out walking that my dogs are not dangerous and then I have to explain why they wear the muzzles.
    • Pittbulls are meant to be wearing muzzles at all times.
    gag, restraint
  • 1.2 informal The part of a person’s face including the nose, mouth, and chin: his close-shaven muzzle
    More example sentences
    • He looks in the mirror with shock as his muzzle hangs wide open like someone who just discovered what they look like for the first time.
    • Ellen tried unsuccessfully to stop the snort that escaped her muzzle.
    • Chris and Sabrina sat there with their muzzles hanging open.
  • 2The open end of the barrel of a firearm: Devlin jammed the muzzle of the gun into the man’s neck
    More example sentences
    • Never point the muzzle of your firearm at yourself or anyone else, even if it is unloaded.
    • By the late 17th century devices were being developed to fire grenades from the muzzles of flintlock muskets.
    • Make it a habit to know where your muzzle is pointed at all times, even when your firearm is unloaded.


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  • 1Put a muzzle on (an animal): the dog should have been muzzled
    More example sentences
    • ‘She should have muzzled her dog,’ Mr Millard said.
    • In fact, no animals were harmed during filming - the director ensured that the dogs were muzzled.
    • But fortunately, Peter gets hold of a rope and uses it as a noose with which to muzzle the wolf and take him into captivity.
  • 1.1Prevent (a person or group) from expressing their opinions freely: opposition leaders accused him of muzzling the news media
    More example sentences
    • Unfortunately, in the last few years a rash of cases, statutes, and rules has made it easier for adversaries of the poor to silence them by muzzling their lawyers.
    • It seems like blatant sheltering and effectively muzzles the people expressing their views.
    • The effect was to muzzle the one person at that time trying to sound an alarm.
    gag, silence, censor, suppress, stifle, inhibit, restrain, check, curb, fetter


late Middle English: from Old French musel, diminutive of medieval Latin musum, of unknown ultimate origin.

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