Main definitions of utter in English

: utter1utter2

utter1

adjective

  • attributive Complete; absolute.

    ‘Charlotte stared at her in utter amazement’
    • ‘The utter inconsistency is absolutely breathtaking.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I believe that what has happened is nothing short of an absolute and utter tragedy.’
    • ‘She later apologised but the judge said she was a ‘harridan’ who had acted like ‘an utter and absolute maniac’.’
    • ‘The night had been a mess, an absolute, utter disaster.’
    • ‘You seem to have found a balance between absolute asceticism and utter hedonism.’
    • ‘To his utter horror and amazement, 20 to 30 journalists were there to meet him.’
    • ‘The look Evangeline gave me was one of complete and utter amazement.’
    • ‘The rest of the night was filled with small talk and other utter nonsense.’
    • ‘Another persistent theme is the utter disregard for the health and safety of working people.’
    • ‘To my complete and utter amazement, I felt okay, not just physically but emotionally as well.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The general manager stared at him in utter amazement.’
    • ‘Your first thought might be to regard this as utter lunacy.’
    • ‘To my utter amazement, she hardly cried for more than a few seconds!’
    • ‘He just looked at Adam in absolute, utter disgust and contempt.’
    • ‘To walk into a bar even with a toy gun was an act of absolute and utter madness.’
    • ‘But, being a total and utter obsessive perfectionist about most things, it has been a good challenge for me to leave it very imperfect.’
    • ‘He looked at me for a moment in utter confusion, then snapped his fingers as if he suddenly realised who I was.’
    • ‘Such behavior exemplifies the utter contempt in which he was held by U.S. officials.’
    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

/ˈʌtə/

Main definitions of utter in English

: utter1utter2

utter2

verb

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

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

    • ‘He was once arrested on suspicion of having uttered forged bills.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘A day later he was granted bail for offences of conspiracy to utter counterfeit currency and conspiracy to defraud.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

utter

/ˈʌtə/