Definition of mutter in US English:

mutter

verb

  • 1reporting verb Say 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’
    no object ‘she muttered in annoyance as the keys slid from her fingers’
    • ‘As he leaves, he mutters something that was barely heard.’
    • ‘He managed to nudge his partner, and together they rose, muttering in tones of voice too low and quiet for her to hear.’
    • ‘He was heard muttering in a barely audible voice.’
    • ‘The big woman knelt down and gathered up Rose's books, muttering apologies in a deep, quiet voice.’
    • ‘I follow sullenly, muttering something barely coherent, concerning lies and unfairness.’
    • ‘The chef mutters something about being in shock.’
    • ‘The lights were still on at my house and I walked in, barely muttering a goodnight to him.’
    • ‘A few turned to stare as she stood there, green eyes blinking curiously, voices muttering.’
    • ‘Alan barely had time to mutter a quick ‘Night’, before Jason was gone, leaving Alan more confused than ever.’
    • ‘‘No,’ she mutters, her voice coming from directly over me.’
    • ‘He found his voice and managed to mutter her name.’
    • ‘‘There is something you could do,’ Abe mutters in a low voice.’
    • ‘However, as soon as we heard Rosemary's voice I heard Danielle mutter a little ‘uh-oh.’’
    • ‘He could barely mutter back a response to any of my statements.’
    • ‘Without even having to strain his ears, he could overhear the girl muttering to herself in annoyance.’
    • ‘Sometimes I'd hear a melodic fragment or a texture, or it might sound like voices muttering in an unintelligible language.’
    • ‘‘Finally they get what they deserve,’ I heard a voice behind me mutter.’
    • ‘She replied so quietly that he could barely hear her voice muttering her name.’
    • ‘He had barely muttered his problems, but the old lady had a keen sense of hearing.’
    • ‘‘Whatever,’ I mutter irritably, not bothering to hide my disapproval.’
    talk under one's breath, murmur, mumble, whisper, speak in an undertone, speak sotto voce, speak in hushed tones
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1no object Speak privately or unofficially about someone or something; spread rumors.
      ‘when he disappeared, people began to mutter’
      • ‘The swordsmen began to mutter to each other, hoping their superiors wouldn't hear their complaints; they were bored too, but at least they weren't caged up.’
      • ‘Passengers' eyes divert to Lauren and they begin to mutter incoherently about her.’
      • ‘So he said no, privately muttering that his team shouldn't have to compromise to make up for the mistakes of others.’
      • ‘The four friends and the men begin muttering, then asking us loudly why only she got the money, then arguing with her.’
      • ‘The people were beginning to mutter about the Empress' German origins.’
      • ‘Still, it was easier to mutter in private and unsettle his wife with threats of going public than actually doing anything.’
      • ‘The other Freelancers had all been watching avidly at this point, and all began to mutter to themselves.’
      • ‘People began muttering under their breath as the moments went by and no one saw any danger.’
      • ‘More cynical Ukrainians have already begun to mutter that all politicians are the same in the end.’
      • ‘By 11, his colleagues had not arrived and several people began muttering over their absence.’
      • ‘They began muttering, and he heard a chair scrape across the floor, followed quickly by three more.’
      • ‘Democrats mutter about the president's secret plan to transform homeland security into a flag-draped campaign issue.’
      • ‘When she motioned me over the kids began whispering, muttering that I must have been shoplifting or something.’
      • ‘The men around him began to mutter worriedly - their morale was starting to decay.’
      • ‘His friend began muttering in German and what I possibly believe is that they were talking about me.’
      grumble, moan, complain, grouse, carp, whine, bleat
      View synonyms

noun

  • A barely audible utterance, especially one expressing dissatisfaction or irritation.

    ‘a little mutter of disgust’
    • ‘‘I got a room at the hotel,’ she said in a mutter, her words slurred.’
    • ‘‘Hey you didn't have to watch,’ I tried to snap at him, but my words only came out as a mutter.’
    • ‘He spoke, his words rising over the mutters and squeals of the living victims.’
    • ‘A few mutters of agreements and echoes of his words followed the leader's voiced remark.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘I'm an entertainer,’ he says, self-effacingly in a low mutter.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I heard both murmurs of approval and mutters of discontent.’
    • ‘With a mutter or two the chap retreated into a sulk and decided to get on with his reading material.’
    • ‘The guy put his head down and stormed on, his vicious racist rantings now dimmed to a mutter, his hate-filled words completely stripped of any power.’
    • ‘An irritable mutter rippled about the round table.’
    • ‘I cannot hear a syllable or a sound, a mutter or a murmur.’
    • ‘But Woking, I'm sorry to say, seems to have accepted this slight without even the mildest mutter of protest.’
    • ‘There is not a word, a syllable, a mutter or a sound now.’
    • ‘At almost every other street, someone in the car mutters, ‘This used to be a good block.’’
    • ‘I struggled down to pick them up, to a growing mutter of impatience from the people in the queue behind me.’
    • ‘With this knowledge in hand, I happily settled back on the bed as he drunkenly muttered his hypnotising mutters.’
    • ‘I threw the rag down with a soft mutter of disgust, cradling my chin in my trembling hands, my breath coming in short, unhealthy spurts.’
    • ‘‘Lewis,’ he said in a mutter, barely acknowledging my presence.’
    • ‘And as usual there are mutters about making an American version.’
    complaint, grumble, moan, mutter, murmur, grouse, objection, protest, protestation, outcry, demur, argument, remonstrance, remonstration, exception, grievance, cavil, quibble, word, sound
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

mutter

/ˈmədər//ˈmədər/