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

  • intransitive verb To call (troops) together, as for inspection.
  • intransitive verb To cause to come together; gather.
  • intransitive verb To bring into existence or readiness; summon up: synonym: call.
  • intransitive verb To assemble or gather.
  • noun A gathering, especially of troops, for service, inspection, review, or roll call.
  • noun The persons assembled for such a gathering.
  • noun A muster roll.
  • noun A gathering or collection.
  • noun A flock of peacocks.
  • idiom (pass muster) To be judged as acceptable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • . To show; point; exhibit.
  • To bring together into a group or body for inspection, especially with a view to employing in or discharging from military service; in general, to collect, assemble, or array.
  • Synonyms To call together, get together, gather, convene, congregate.
  • To show; appear.
  • To assemble; meet in one place, as soldiers; in general, to collect.
  • noun A show; a review; an exhibition; in modern use, an exhibition in array; array.
  • noun A pattern; a sample.
  • noun A gathering of persons, as of troops for review or inspection, or in demonstration of strength; an assembling in force or in array; an array; an assemblage.
  • noun A register or roll of troops mustered; also, the troops enrolled.
  • noun In hunting, a company or flock of peacocks.

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

  • intransitive verb To be gathered together for parade, inspection, exercise, or the like; to come together as parts of a force or body.
  • transitive verb To collect and display; to assemble, as troops for parade, inspection, exercise, or the like.
  • transitive verb Hence: To summon together; to enroll in service; to get together.
  • transitive verb (Mil.) to inspect and enter troops on the muster roll of the army.
  • transitive verb (Mil.) to register them for final payment and discharge.
  • transitive verb to gather up; to succeed in obtaining; to obtain with some effort or difficulty.
  • noun obsolete Something shown for imitation; a pattern.
  • noun obsolete A show; a display.
  • noun An assembling or review of troops, as for parade, verification of numbers, inspection, exercise, or introduction into service.
  • noun The sum total of an army when assembled for review and inspection; the whole number of effective men in an army.
  • noun Any assemblage or display; a gathering.
  • noun a book in which military forces are registered.
  • noun a muster roll.
  • noun (Mil.), [Eng.] one who takes an account of troops, and of their equipment; a mustering officer; an inspector.
  • noun (Mil.) a list or register of all the men in a company, troop, or regiment, present or accounted for on the day of muster.
  • noun to pass through a muster or inspection without censure.

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

  • noun Gathering.
  • noun Showing.

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

  • noun a gathering of military personnel for duty
  • noun compulsory military service
  • verb call to duty, military service, jury duty, etc.
  • verb gather or bring together


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

[Middle English mustren, from Old French moustrer, from Latin mōnstrāre, to show, from mōnstrum, sign, portent, from monēre, to warn; see men- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English, from Anglo-Norman monstrer, to show etc. and Middle French mostrer, moustrer (whence the noun monstre, which gave the English noun), from Latin mōnstrāre ("to show"), from monere ("to admonish").


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word muster.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I just discovered that this was a collective noun. It made my day. It was from the following quote:

    "Out of the opposition of California and Arizona over a river have come five lawsuits in the United States Supreme Court, a filibuster in the Senate, a muster of troops by Arizona at the California border ..."

    May 1, 2009

  • Hi,

    I notice you have a lot of military examples for the word muster. I suggest adding an example of its use as a verb, referring to gathering the herd, as in sheepdogs. Check the AKC site for herding dogs. It's a good use and would make the examples a little less redundant.

    I like your website!

    November 1, 2009

  • We don't appear to have a pass Stuffie.

    February 12, 2010

  • We muster passed on it.

    February 12, 2010