Definition of muzzle in English:



  • 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’
    • ‘She has a beautiful even, harsh coat, dark wheaten in colour and a dear wee head with a good-shaped muzzle.’
    • ‘They have black silky fur, roundish heads, short muzzles with a naked face and ears.’
    • ‘It is a short mammal with rounded ears and a long muzzle.’
    • ‘The shepherds prefer dogs with heavy, rough heads and large muzzles.’
    • ‘Wrinkles creased his furry muzzle, as though he was smelling something foul.’
    • ‘They had large, broad heads, short muzzles and tiny, deep-set eyes.’
    • ‘She handed treats over the fence to five horses and caressed their muzzles, then turned to wave to journalists before heading inside again.’
    • ‘In addition, she had a shorter tail, a rounder head, a shorter muzzle, rounder eyes and greater distance between the eyes than did the Siamese.’
    • ‘He gently stroked the horse's muzzle and whispered to him softly, and the animal quietened almost immediately.’
    • ‘She smiled upon reaching him and gently petted the horse's long muzzle.’
    • ‘Most species have relatively small heads with short, pointed or semipointed, erect ears and a relatively long, pointed muzzle.’
    • ‘The back is usually more profoundly black, and the muzzle, ears, and limbs have cinnamon coloration as well.’
    • ‘It had a fairly square head, with a much shorter muzzle than a Labrador.’
    • ‘Hoss straightened up and stroked his horse's soft muzzle, puzzling at the problem.’
    • ‘These mammals are all characterized by an elongated body, a face with a pointed muzzle, short legs and, generally, a long, furry tail.’
    • ‘The horse shoved his muzzle malevolently against the spaniel's face, eyeball to eyeball.’
    • ‘Almost all of them had slim heads with narrow muzzles and small brain cavities.’
    • ‘He gave the horse a rub on the muzzle as it lowered its head and snorted a welcome at him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘She stroked his head and caressed his muzzle to her face.’
    snout, nose, mouth, jaws, maw
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    1. 1.1 A 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’
      • ‘Wearing a muzzle does not in anyway hurt your dog.’
      • ‘Another award winner in the Ukraine was walking his dog when a police cadet pointed out that dogs in that area must be walked with a muzzle and a leash.’
      • ‘But unlike the wolf who's eyes Selene was seeing through, this one was wearing a muzzle and was chained to the wall.’
      • ‘Raine was bound tightly by a rope around her neck and a muzzle on her jaws.’
      • ‘We reminded Sophie that she was going to have to work for her keep, and we spent time trying to accustom her to walking on a lead and wearing a muzzle.’
      • ‘The owner of the terrier, which had no lead or muzzle, had apparently walked away leaving Tasmin to fight for Mogget's life on her own.’
      • ‘Pittbulls are meant to be wearing muzzles at all times.’
      • ‘Teera looked at it and her heart filled with anger when she saw the blood on its muzzle and the broken arrow in its side, but she stayed where she was.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If such dogs are likely to bite passers-by for no reason the animals really need to be kept at home or a muzzle should be used to ensure they cannot attack anyone.’
      • ‘That also resulted in new legislation - muzzles to be worn in public, stronger sentences for bad dog owners etc etc.’
      • ‘He seemed sad that she was kept in a cage day in and day out with a muzzle on her mouth to keep her from harming the visitors.’
      gag, restraint
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    2. 1.2informal The part of a person's face including the nose, mouth, and chin.
      ‘his close-shaven muzzle’
      • ‘Chris and Sabrina sat there with their muzzles hanging open.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His muzzle dropped open, then he made an elaborate show of wincing.’
      • ‘Ellen tried unsuccessfully to stop the snort that escaped her muzzle.’
  • 2The open end of the barrel of a firearm.

    ‘Devlin jammed the muzzle of the gun into the man's neck’
    • ‘But there was one mistake - the statue showed the soldier in a most unmilitary posture with his hands clasped over the muzzle of his firearm.’
    • ‘He held a semi-automatic rifle with its muzzle pointed in her direction, but not directly at her.’
    • ‘So simply clear your sights and muzzle before firing to achieve optimum results on the target.’
    • ‘Never point the muzzle of your firearm at yourself or anyone else, even if it is unloaded.’
    • ‘Do not lead into openings with your elbows, feet or the end of your weapon's muzzle.’
    • ‘Travis raised the muzzle and held the shotgun across his body.’
    • ‘Minute differences in the behavior of the firearm prior to the bullet's exit of the muzzle are readily seen on the target.’
    • ‘He pushed the door open with the muzzle of his shotgun, his finger sliding off the exterior of the trigger guard to curl around the trigger.’
    • ‘Make it a habit to know where your muzzle is pointed at all times, even when your firearm is unloaded.’
    • ‘Even when the safety is on, maintain control of your loaded firearm and control the direction of the muzzle.’
    • ‘By the late 17th century devices were being developed to fire grenades from the muzzles of flintlock muskets.’
    • ‘The man in the bed sat up and looked up in shock at the gun muzzle pointed at his chest.’
    • ‘So keep your finger off the trigger unless you are willing to shoot and don't point the muzzle at anything you are not willing to shoot.’
    • ‘Try doing it when you're staring into the open muzzle of a rifle.’
    • ‘The early designs consisted of a cup which was fitted onto the muzzle of a rifle.’
    • ‘The first hint he had that something was wrong was when the pistol's muzzle came to rest on the back of his head.’
    • ‘The muzzle of the shotgun broke a branch in front of him, sending a loud crack into the forest.’
    • ‘An instant later, the door burst open and he was staring down the muzzles of two semi-automatics and a handgun.’
    • ‘Such a covering is safe provided it is over the muzzle and none of the covering material extends into the barrel.’
    • ‘He places the handcuff's chains on the rifle's muzzle and pushes it to the air and causes the rifle holder to pull the trigger.’


[with object]
  • 1Put a muzzle on (an animal)

    ‘the dog should have been muzzled’
    • ‘If they are of the opinion that their dog is safe - that it is not like all the other dogs - then the only requirement is that they muzzle the dog when it is in the public arena.’
    • ‘We just want the guy to muzzle his dog so that this doesn't happen to anyone else's pet.’
    • ‘It simply means that people will have to muzzle those dogs when they take them out in public.’
    • ‘I think you should muzzle him, at least in public.’
    • ‘‘She should have muzzled her dog,’ Mr Millard said.’
    • ‘You may need to muzzle your dog so that it doesn't bite you while you are giving first aid.’
    • ‘While in public, these dogs must be muzzled and under the control of a person over the age of 18.’
    • ‘I remember, one of the regulations before a dog would be accepted for carriage was it had to have a muzzle attached to its collar and chain so that the dog could be muzzled if it happened to turn nasty.’
    • ‘In fact, no animals were harmed during filming - the director ensured that the dogs were muzzled.’
    • ‘He added that by law this breed of dog had to be muzzled and on a lead in public.’
    • ‘The fact is that Pakistan's sheep-dogs have, for a variety of reasons, been muzzled.’
    • ‘The couple approached the owner to ask for money to pay the vet's bill and for his dogs to be muzzled in the future.’
    • ‘The MP said he would ask the government whether the law should be changed to widen the range of dangerous dogs which should be muzzled.’
    • ‘If the Baron is such a rabid dog, the King and his followers should have muzzled him long since.’
    • ‘‘The dogs were muzzled for safety but they all handled it really well and didn't show any signs of discomfort or stress,’ they said.’
    • ‘Other communities place restrictions on owners, such as requiring that they carry liability insurance or muzzle their pets in public.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Therefore it must be kept on a lead and be muzzled.’
    • ‘The rules state that once a dog is declared dangerous, the owner must keep it in a special enclosure at home; when it is off the property, the animal must be muzzled and on a short leash.’
    • ‘The Ratcatcher picks up a piece of cloth from the floor, the cloth that he used to muzzle his dog.’
    1. 1.1 Prevent (a person or group) from expressing their opinions freely.
      ‘opposition leaders accused him of muzzling the news media’
      • ‘The CBC, embarrassed once too often by its most popular sports commentator, has muzzled him.’
      • ‘The Los Angeles Times visually muzzled the rioters by banishing them from the paper's most important page.’
      • ‘Fastbuck medical chains are muzzling doctors from telling patients things that could affect their health and ability to get better.’
      • ‘We seem to be muzzling the Press to protect the government,’ he said.’
      • ‘After street battles in January 1974, the regime muzzled the news media.’
      • ‘He appeals to a staunch, hard-core audience, and it would be a shame if they muzzle him.’
      • ‘Thailand's once vocal print media has been muzzled.’
      • ‘They had been muzzled by the State for too long and wanted their own representation, one survivor insisted.’
      • ‘The effect was to muzzle the one person at that time trying to sound an alarm.’
      • ‘Reluctant to muzzle her guest directly, Ross hatched a cunning plan.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the U.S. writers can be muzzled less overtly.’
      • ‘Sometimes she was tempted to muzzle her sister so that she couldn't say or do anything embarrassing, especially in school like this.’
      • ‘In one week, three media outlets critical of the president were muzzled.’
      • ‘A time when dictatorship was at its peak, and the press was being muzzled and suppressed right across the continent.’
      • ‘They will do and say anything to muzzle those who bear witness to the truth, and challenge their radical views of personal autonomy.’
      • ‘But despite a number of arrests, the independent press refused to be muzzled.’
      • ‘The army may be capable of muzzling him but that doesn't make it advisable.’
      • ‘His father has been scandalising us for years, despite repeated attempts to muzzle him.’
      • ‘It seems like blatant sheltering and effectively muzzles the people expressing their views.’
      gag, silence, censor, suppress, stifle, inhibit, restrain, check, curb, fetter
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Late Middle English: from Old French musel, diminutive of medieval Latin musum, of unknown ultimate origin.