Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Muteness; silence; abstention from speech; absence of sound.
  • noun Incapacity for speaking; inability to utter articulate sounds. See deafness.

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

  • noun The quality or state of being dumb; muteness; silence; inability to speak.

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

  • noun The state of being dumb (either mute or dim-witted), that is, not communicating vocally, whether from selective mutism or from an inability to speak.
  • noun Muteness, silence; abstention from speech.
  • noun Refusal or unwillingness to speak.
  • noun Show or gesture without words; pantomime; dumb-show.

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

  • noun the quality of being mentally slow and limited

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

dumb +‎ -ness

Examples

  • But the third, and most pernicious, level of dumbness is its pro-cyclical neo-Hooverite nature.

    Matthew Yglesias » Mike Pence Calls for Massive Anti-Stimulus

  • We Americans are now in survival mode, backs to the wall thinking about necessities not luxuries and realizing that our stupidity (in other words our dumbness in electing Bush, our greed, our corruption, our lack of discipline from the cars we've driven to the bonuses we've tolerated Wall Street crooks paying themselves, to the wars we went along with etc., etc.) have just about cost us everything we hold dear.

    Frank Schaeffer: Why and How President Obama Will Succeed Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

  • Some have attributed the movie's success to a new cult of dumbness, which is just plain stupid: dumb is, and ever was.

    Nobody Does Dumb Better

  • The dumbness might be the result of a defective structure of the mouth, or of the tongue, or a mere defective innervation of these parts; or it might result from congenital deafness, caused by some minute defect of the internal ear, which only a careful anatomist could discover.

    Essays

  • And what added to her dumbness was the fact that she was infinitely touched by Garth's confession; and when Jane was deeply moved speech always became difficult.

    The Rosary

  • The dumbness might be the result of a defective structure of the mouth, or of the tongue, or a mere defective innervation of these parts; or it might result from congenital deafness, caused by some minute defect of the internal ear, which only a careful anatomist could discover.

    Lectures and Essays

  • The dumbness might be the result of a defective structure of the mouth, or of the tongue, or

    On the Relations of Man to the Lower Animals

  • Pure word dumbness: Spoken language cannot be produced clearly; but the patient can comprehend language well, can read and write.

    British Blogs

  • And you can see this kind of dumbness coming through in this floor speech calling for a “spending freeze”:

    Matthew Yglesias » Mike Pence Calls for Massive Anti-Stimulus

  • And they find the smug irritation and association with "dumbness" of non-black regional language, music, dress as the put-downs they are.

    And then there's the way Sarah Palin keeps saying "also," also.

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