Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Lacking the power of speech. Used of animals and inanimate objects.
  • adjective Offensive Incapable of using speech; mute. Used of humans.
  • adjective Temporarily speechless, as with shock or fear.
  • adjective Unwilling to speak; taciturn.
  • adjective Not expressed or articulated in sounds or words.
  • adjective Nautical Not self-propelling.
  • adjective Conspicuously unintelligent; stupid.
  • adjective Unintentional; haphazard.
  • transitive verb To make silent or dumb.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb obsolete To put to silence.
  • adjective Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter articulate sounds.
  • adjective Not willing to speak; mute; silent; not speaking; not accompanied by words.
  • adjective rare Lacking brightness or clearness, as a color.
  • adjective See Deaf-mute.
  • adjective [U.S.] a form of intermittent fever which has no well-defined “chill.”
  • adjective any animal except man; -- usually restricted to a domestic quadruped; -- so called in contradistinction to man, who is a “speaking animal.”
  • adjective a cake made in silence by girls on St. Mark's eve, with certain mystic ceremonies, to discover their future husbands.
  • adjective (Bot.) a west Indian plant of the Arum family (Dieffenbachia seguina), which, when chewed, causes the tongue to swell, and destroys temporarily the power of speech.
  • adjective See under crambo.
  • adjective Signs and gestures without words; as, to tell a story in dumb show.
  • adjective to confound; to astonish; to render silent by astonishment; or, it may be, to deprive of the power of speech.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To silence.
  • verb transitive To make stupid.
  • verb transitive To represent as stupid.
  • verb transitive To reduce the intellectual demands of.
  • adjective Unable to speak; lacking power of speech.
  • adjective informal, pejorative, especially of a person extremely stupid.
  • adjective figuratively Pointless, foolish, lacking intellectual content or value.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective temporarily incapable of speaking
  • adjective unable to speak because of hereditary deafness
  • adjective slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity
  • adjective lacking the power of human speech

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English dumb, from Old English dumb ("silent, silent, speechless, mute, unable to speak"), from Proto-Germanic *dumbaz (“dull, dumb”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰeubʰ- (“to whisk, smoke, darken, obscure”). Cognate with Scots dumb ("dumb, silent"), North Frisian dom, domme ("dumb, stupid"), West Frisian dom ("dumb, stupid"), Dutch dom ("dumb, stupid"), German dumm ("dumb, stupid"), Swedish dum ("stupid"), Icelandic dumbur ("dumb, mute").

Examples

Comments

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  • Example sentence: this website is dumb.

    June 14, 2012