Definition of muffle in English:



  • 1Wrap or cover for warmth.

    ‘everyone was muffled up in coats and scarves’
    • ‘Partridge, however, does not recognize them, muffled up as they are at this time of night.’
    • ‘They emerged from the darkness so muffled against the cold it was hard to tell if they were children or old, bent women.’
    • ‘And so they came in Christmas, muffled up in furs and with mountains of luggage, and were pleasantly surprised.’
    wrap, wrap up, swathe, swaddle, enfold, envelop, cloak, cover up
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  • 2Cover or wrap up (a source of sound) to reduce its loudness.

    ‘the soft beat of a muffled drum’
    • ‘The rain's playing muffled kettledrums on our roof, shimmering like sheets of cellophane outside.’
    • ‘At once, his body pressed me so hard into the seat that I couldn't move, his hands pinned my own down, and his lips covered mine, muffling me.’
    • ‘She mouths to me, muffling the handset with her hand.’
    • ‘That they were on muffled phone lines didn't help as Dunphy only twice became animated during his two-hour stint and that was when he had guests in the studio.’
    1. 2.1 Make (a sound) quieter or less distinct.
      ‘his voice was muffled’
      figurative ‘the trade unions fear their voice within the party is being muffled’
      • ‘It is mostly clear, occasionally muffled, and lacking in dynamic range.’
      • ‘The Canadian accents were presented with clarity, but occasionally muffled.’
      • ‘Occasionally they would hear one of their loud, hooting cries echoing across the plain, muffled and distorted through the mist.’
      • ‘Apart from elaborating the ongoing judicial usurpation on these issues, the conservative voice seems to have become muffled.’
      • ‘Nick chuckles, and Jonnie guesses from the next muffled, unintelligible words that the pair are now kissing.’
      • ‘Cole realized the plan at the same time Jeremy did, and she started to struggle furiously, muffled screams coming from her mouth.’
      • ‘A bright flash of light broke out and surrounded Ryuma, his screams slightly muffled by the thickness of his own energy.’
      • ‘His voice echoed throughout the library, faint and muffled.’
      • ‘Fear becomes for her parents the permanent and muffled undertone of their life.’
      • ‘Zoe's screams of fear and rage became muffled as he began to engulf her, and she realized how powerless she was in her current state.’
      • ‘My vision faded until I could see no more, then I heard words; however, those were even too muffled to hear.’
      • ‘Also, I hope you like your music mushy and muffled, because that's just what you'll get with the soundtrack here.’
      • ‘A small, muffled whisper - like a careless sigh of contentment - drifted from the other side of the room, by the window.’
      • ‘The faces and voices around him are blurred and muffled.’
      • ‘Shapes moved outside and I heard voices, muffled through the wall.’
      • ‘Dialogue seemed a bit muffled in some sequences, but nothing terrible.’
      • ‘Better relations should not mean muffling Britain's views on human rights and the rule of law.’
      • ‘The rest of the conversation was too low and muffled for her to hear, and when it seemed to be over there was silence until the door swung open and a deep voice called out her name.’
      • ‘Dialogue is often thick and muffled, although it is easy enough to understand, or would be if I actually spoke Italian.’
      • ‘While the score and effects such as gunshots were all done well, dialogue remained muffled on every single disc.’
      deaden, dull, dampen, damp down, mute, soften, quieten, hush, silence, still, tone down, mask, stifle, smother, subdue, suppress, gag, muzzle
      indistinct, faint, muted, dull, dim, soft, strangled, stifled, smothered, suppressed
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  • usually as modifier A receptacle in a furnace or kiln in which things can be heated without contact with combustion products.

    ‘a muffle furnace’
    • ‘Evidently there were still enough blanks from Jingdezhen for enameling in the muffle kilns of Canton.’
    • ‘It is difficult to obtain good results from oil heating, even with the muffle furnaces.’
    • ‘Samples were heated to 450 deg C in a muffle furnace overnight.’
    • ‘Ash content was determined by combustion for 6 h at 500 deg C in a muffle furnace.’
    • ‘However, in this case organic C was removed from the sand by muffle furnace, following an initial wash to remove particulate material.’


Late Middle English (as a verb): perhaps a shortening of Old French enmoufler; the noun (mid 17th century) from Old French moufle ‘thick glove’.