Definitions

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

  • n. The forward, projecting part of the head of certain animals, such as dogs, including the mouth, nose, and jaws; the snout.
  • n. A leather or wire restraining appliance that, when fitted over an animal's snout, prevents biting and eating.
  • n. The forward, discharging end of the barrel of a firearm.
  • n. A restraint on free movement or expression: had a muzzle put on their high spirits.
  • transitive v. To put a muzzle on (an animal).
  • transitive v. To restrain from expression: tried to muzzle the opposition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The protruding part of many animal's head which includes nose, mouth and jaws; snout
  • n. The mouth or the end for entrance or discharge of a gun, pistol etc., that the bullet emerges from as opposed to the breech.
  • n. A device used to prevent animal from biting or eating, which is worn on its snout.
  • n. A piece of the forward end of the plow-beam by which the traces are attached; bridle
  • n. An openwork covering for the nose, used for the defense of the horse, and forming part of the bards in the 15th and 16th centuries.
  • v. To bind or confine animal's mouth by putting a muzzle, as to prevent it from eating or biting.
  • v. To restrain (from speaking, expressing opinion or acting); gag, silence.
  • v. To veil, mask, muffle.
  • v. To fondle with the closed mouth; to nuzzle.
  • v. To bring the muzzle or mouth near.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The projecting mouth and nose of a quadruped, as of a horse; a snout.
  • n. The mouth of a thing; the end for entrance or discharge.
  • n. A fastening or covering (as a band or cage) for the mouth of an animal, to prevent eating or vicious biting.
  • transitive v. To bind the mouth of; to fasten the mouth of, so as to prevent biting or eating; hence, figuratively, to bind; to sheathe; to restrain from speech or action.
  • transitive v. To fondle with the closed mouth.
  • intransitive v. To bring the mouth or muzzle near.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The projecting jaws and nose of an animal, as an ox or a dog; the snout.
  • n. The mouth of a thing; the end for entrance or discharge: applied chiefly to the end of a tube, as the open end of a gun or pistol.
  • n. Anything which prevents an animal from biting, as a strap around the jaws, or a sort of cage, as of wire, into which the muzzle (def. 1) is inserted.
  • n. In armor, an openwork, covering for the nose, used for the defense of the horse, and forming part of the bards in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
  • n. A piece of the forward end of the plow-beam by which the traces are attached: same as bridle, 5.
  • n. Muzzle-energy, the energy of a shot when it leaves the muzzle of a gun, expressed by the formula = foot-tons of energy, w representing the weight of shot in pounds and v the velocity in feet per second.
  • To bind or confine the mouth of in order to prevent biting or eating.
  • Figuratively, to gag; silence.
  • . To mask.
  • . To fondle with the closed mouth; nuzzle.
  • To grub up with the snout, as swine do.
  • To handle or pull about.
  • To bring the muzzle or mouth near.
  • To drink to excess; guzzle.
  • To loiter; trifle; skulk.
  • n. A workman's name for a covering of many folds of flannel cloth tied over the nose and mouth of one who is engaged in removing bleaching-powder from the chambers in which it is made, and in packing it, to afford protection from the chlorin gas and the fine dust suspended in the air. A sponge moistened with water is sometimes used in the same way.
  • n. A chain clevis or shackle.

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

  • v. fit with a muzzle
  • v. prevent from speaking out
  • v. tie a gag around someone's mouth in order to silence them
  • n. the open circular discharging end of a gun
  • n. a leather or wire restraint that fits over an animal's snout (especially a dog's nose and jaws) and prevents it from eating or biting
  • n. restraint put into a person's mouth to prevent speaking or shouting
  • n. forward projecting part of the head of certain animals; includes the jaws and nose

Etymologies

Middle English mosel, from Old French musel, from Medieval Latin mūsellum, diminutive of mūsus, snout, from Latin mūsum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From earlier muzle, musle, mousle, mussel, mozell, from Middle English mosel, from Old French musel, museau, muzeau (modern French museau), from latin mūsellum, diminutive form of mūsum ("snout"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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

  • (noun) A restraint on free movement or expression, as in: had a muzzle put on their high spirits.

    put a muzzle on it. To restrain from expression.

    In the verb form, it is even clearer that what is to be muzzled is the barking. This usage appears to be longstanding. In a 1917 New York Times Magazine political cartoon entitled “Trying to muzzle the wrong dog,�?

    July 27, 2009

  • +1, yarb. :)

    December 29, 2007

  • A muzzle is often the origin of a nuzzle.

    November 17, 2007