Main definitions of utter in US English:

: utter1utter2

utter1

adjective

  • attributive Complete; absolute.

    ‘Charles stared at her in utter amazement’
    • ‘Your first thought might be to regard this as utter lunacy.’
    • ‘To my complete and utter amazement, I felt okay, not just physically but emotionally as well.’
    • ‘The look Evangeline gave me was one of complete and utter amazement.’
    • ‘Such behavior exemplifies the utter contempt in which he was held by U.S. officials.’
    • ‘He looked back and there was Megan, standing at the door with a tear stained face, her expression showing pure and utter confusion and disbelief.’
    • ‘To his utter horror and amazement, 20 to 30 journalists were there to meet him.’
    • ‘I believe that what has happened is nothing short of an absolute and utter tragedy.’
    • ‘To walk into a bar even with a toy gun was an act of absolute and utter madness.’
    • ‘To my utter amazement, she hardly cried for more than a few seconds!’
    • ‘He just looked at Adam in absolute, utter disgust and contempt.’
    • ‘But, being a total and utter obsessive perfectionist about most things, it has been a good challenge for me to leave it very imperfect.’
    • ‘The general manager stared at him in utter amazement.’
    • ‘You seem to have found a balance between absolute asceticism and utter hedonism.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that people listening to this will be absolutely flabbergasted by the utter waste of time that has gone on here tonight.’
    • ‘The utter inconsistency is absolutely breathtaking.’
    • ‘The night had been a mess, an absolute, utter disaster.’
    • ‘She later apologised but the judge said she was a ‘harridan’ who had acted like ‘an utter and absolute maniac’.’
    • ‘The rest of the night was filled with small talk and other utter nonsense.’
    • ‘He looked at me for a moment in utter confusion, then snapped his fingers as if he suddenly realised who I was.’
    • ‘Another persistent theme is the utter disregard for the health and safety of working people.’
    complete, total, absolute, thorough, perfect, downright, out-and-out, outright, thoroughgoing, all-out, sheer, positive, prize, rank, pure, dyed-in-the-wool, deep-dyed, real, veritable, consummate, categorical, unmitigated, unqualified, unadulterated, unalloyed, unconditional, unequivocal, full, unlimited, limitless, infinite, ultimate
    View synonyms

Origin

Old English ūtera, ūttra ‘outer’, comparative of ūt ‘out’; compare with outer.

Pronunciation

utter

/ˈədər//ˈədər/

Main definitions of utter in US English:

: utter1utter2

utter2

verb

[with object]
  • 1Make (a sound) with one's voice.

    ‘he uttered an exasperated snort’
    • ‘He was so surprised by this sudden attack that he didn't utter a sound.’
    • ‘She shakes her head, nods and shrugs, but won't utter a sound, even when asked direct questions.’
    • ‘The press politely looked the other way, never uttering a peep.’
    • ‘She could not even utter a cry of pain, just a short gasp of disbelief.’
    • ‘He looked thoughtful for a moment, then he uttered a low sound of understanding.’
    • ‘The now familiar voice sounded yet a third time, uttering the first sound I heard after my prayer.’
    • ‘Many uttered sounds of warm appreciation while giving a standing ovation when the show concluded.’
    • ‘My throat was so parched that I could barely utter a sound.’
    • ‘You could actually participate in telling a lie without uttering a single sound.’
    • ‘He panted, tried to speak but was unable to utter a sound.’
    • ‘Matt nodded in her direction, not uttering a single sound.’
    • ‘Her terror was far too great to permit her mouth to utter a sound.’
    • ‘Adriane uttered a weak cry as she tripped over her own feet, exhausted.’
    • ‘Not a sound was uttered, and it seemed that everyone was holding their breath.’
    • ‘Stepping back, he opened his mouth to speak but could not utter a sound.’
    • ‘He tossed his head slightly, and uttered a small sound, barely an exhalation.’
    • ‘Arthur opened his mouth to protest or demand an explanation - but let his mouth hang open without uttering a sound.’
    • ‘She stuttered awkwardly, trying to introduce herself, incapable of uttering a coherent sound.’
    • ‘Her mouth had gone so dry she could not utter a sound.’
    • ‘There is someone though that could make that claim but has never uttered a peep.’
    • ‘As if on key, she utters one of her old undignified yelps because her newly distinguished father walks into the room.’
    • ‘Julia uttered a tiny sound, a sort of squeak of surprise.’
    emit, let out, give, produce, give vent to, issue, come out with, breathe
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Say (something) aloud.
      ‘they are busily scribbling down every word she utters’
      • ‘‘It's shocking news’ were the words uttered by each and every farmer interviewed by the Western People.’
      • ‘Karen closed her eyes and drew in several sharp breaths as he uttered those words.’
      • ‘Tall and well-built he never uttered a wrong word on the field of play.’
      • ‘The little boy utters the same encouraging words she used to cheer him up.’
      • ‘The defendant is entitled to particulars of where and when the slander was alleged to have been uttered.’
      • ‘He acknowledged that it would not have been out of character for him to have uttered such a phrase.’
      • ‘When the phrase ‘electronic music’ is uttered, several things come to my mind.’
      • ‘When she is gone, Jack angrily punches the air and utters a curse.’
      • ‘She regretted the words the moment she uttered them.’
      • ‘I uttered a single swear word and looked away impatiently.’
      • ‘She blinked stupidly at him, too shocked to utter a word.’
      • ‘The threatening tone in which he uttered those words would once have made her flinch, but she did not.’
      • ‘Before slipping into unconsciousness, he uttered just five more words.’
      • ‘He probably utters the word ‘hipster’ 20 times a day before breakfast.’
      • ‘Edwards, as nearly as I can tell, never utters a word without one or more hands gesturing in some significant, word-intensifying manner.’
      • ‘‘I love you’ - three simple words uttered millions of times a day by millions of people, some of whom might even mean it.’
      • ‘"No, " Jim replies, uttering what is perhaps the single saddest word in the book.’
      • ‘While I disagree with him on many issues, he utters some uncomfortable truths.’
      • ‘The word dude is uttered all the time in LA, in casual conversation, in business meetings, and from the pulpit.’
      • ‘She just about managed to utter the last two words before she pushed away his hands, buried her face in her own skirts and burst into tears.’
      • ‘It was at this point that he uttered his now infamous statement that ‘when the seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea’.’
      • ‘We all walked back to the van not uttering even a word; we dropped everyone at home.’
      • ‘He can barely conceal his contempt when he utters the words, ‘liberal intelligencia’.’
      voice, express, put into words, speak, say, deliver, sound, mouth, breathe, articulate, pronounce, enunciate, verbalize, vocalize, state, declare
      View synonyms
  • 2Law
    Put (forged money) into circulation.

    • ‘A day later he was granted bail for offences of conspiracy to utter counterfeit currency and conspiracy to defraud.’
    • ‘That man, who had pleaded guilty to forging and uttering, filled out his electoral return wrongly, took money that he said he would not take, and filled in his ministerial return as being nil.’
    • ‘There was one offence after the other: covering up the books, uttering, forging, and falsifying cheques, and on top of that there were five drink-driving convictions.’
    • ‘He was once arrested on suspicion of having uttered forged bills.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from Middle Dutch ūteren ‘speak, make known, give currency to coins’.

Pronunciation

utter

/ˈədər//ˈədər/