American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Lacking the power of speech. Used of animals and inanimate objects.
- adj. Often Offensive Incapable of using speech; mute. Used of humans. See Usage Note at mute.
- adj. Temporarily speechless, as with shock or fear: I was dumb with disbelief.
- adj. Unwilling to speak; taciturn.
- adj. Not expressed or articulated in sounds or words: dumb resentment.
- adj. Nautical Not self-propelling.
- adj. Conspicuously unintelligent; stupid: dumb officials; a dumb decision.
- adj. Unintentional; haphazard: dumb luck.
- v. To make silent or dumb.
- down Slang To rewrite for a less educated or less sophisticated audience.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Mute; silent; refraining from speech.
- Destitute of the power of speech; unable to utter articulate sounds: as, a deaf and dumb person; the dumb brutes.
- Mute; not accompanied with or emitting speech or sound: as, a dumb show; dumb signs.
- Hence Lacking some usual power, manifestation, characteristic, or accompaniment; destitute of reality in some respect; irregular; simulative: as, dumb ague; dumb craft. See phrases below.
- Dull; stupid; doltish.
- Deficient in clearness or brightness, as a color.
- Synonyms and Mute, etc. See silent.
- To become dumb; be silent.
- To make dumb; silence; overpower the sound of.
- adj. Unable to speak; lacking power of speech.
- adj. informal, pejorative, especially of a person extremely stupid.
- adj. figuratively Pointless, foolish, lacking intellectual content or value.
- v. To silence.
- v. transitive To make stupid.
- v. transitive To represent as stupid.
- v. transitive To reduce the intellectual demands of.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter articulate sounds.
- adj. Not willing to speak; mute; silent; not speaking; not accompanied by words.
- adj. rare Lacking brightness or clearness, as a color.
- v. obsolete To put to silence.
- adj. temporarily incapable of speaking
- adj. unable to speak because of hereditary deafness
- adj. slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity
- adj. lacking the power of human speech
- From Middle English dumbien, from Old English dumbian (more commonly in compound ādumbian ("to become mute or dumb; keep silence; hold one’s peace")), from Proto-Germanic *dumbēnan, *dumbōnan (“to be silent, become dumb”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeubʰ- (“to whisk, smoke, darken, obscure”). Cognate with German dummen ("to become dumb"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Boy were we dumb to read them back in the 60's..dumb but ahh what silly fun.”
“DUMB: A dumb wine is also a closed wine, but the term dumb is used in a more pejorative sense.”
“The software features it offers are brutally malfunctioning such as the simplest OR operation which reduces the (purportedly) 159,000 item set for the term dumb to (purportedly) 92,000 items when the query is broadened to dumb OR dumber.”
“To correct the error involved in the term dumb, it is customary to speak of human beings who do not hear and speak as deaf-mutes, a term which implies that they are silent, but not necessarily incapable of speaking.”
“To such may be applied the term dumb, inasmuch as they are either destitute of the power of speech or are unwilling to speak and are lacking in intelligence.”
“The White House on Tuesday was to release plans for an overhaul of what it calls "dumb" regulations.”
“His most notable stance was clear opposition to the invasion of Iraq, which he called a "dumb war" at a 2002 peace rally in Chicago.”
“These financial influences like investment banks, hedge funds, and ETFs exchange-traded funds allow what I call "dumb money" to enter the oil markets.”
“I mean, you can call yourself a republican, a democrat, a liberal, or a conservative, but dumb is just plain dumb.”
“And then he talked to me about that what he called dumb and wrong, those comments he made during a taping of a program.”
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