dumb´ly

dumb «duhm», adjective, verb.
–adj.
1. not able to speak: »

dumb animals. Helen Keller learned to speak; she was blind and deaf but not dumb.

2. silenced for the moment by fear, surprise, shyness, or other emotion: »

She was struck dumb with astonishment.

3. unwilling to speak; silent; not speaking: »

Yet should you bid me name him, I am dumb (Edna St. Vincent Millay).

SYNONYM(S): taciturn, reticent.
4. Informal. slow in understanding; stupid; dull. SYNONYM(S): foolish.
5. not characterized by or accompanied by speech, words, or sound: »

dumb gestures. A land where newspapers were dumb From scandal and from scare (Andrw Lang).

6. lacking some property, quality, or accompaniment normally belonging to others of the same type: »

A dumb barge or craft is one without sails or propelling power.

–v.t. dumb down, U.S. Informal.
to make less intelligent; lower the intellectual level of: »

They are generally blamed…as having been a major force in dumbing down textbooks nationwide (Atlanta Constitution).

[Old English dumb; (definition 4) influenced by German dumm stupid]
dumb´ly, adverb.
dumb´ness, noun.
Synonym Study 1, 2 Dumb, mute, speechless mean without speech. Dumb means without the power of speech, and although often used interchangeably with mute and speechless, it is the term applied particularly to animals: »

Even intelligent animals are dumb.

Mute emphasizes being silent for some strong reason, and applies particularly to people who have never been able to speak because they were born deaf or became deaf in very early life and have never or practically never heard sounds: »

Many mute children now are taught to speak.

Speechless applies particularly to someone who is temporarily unable to talk because of emotion, surprise, or the like: »

His remark left me speechless with rage.


Useful english dictionary. 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Dumb — Dumb, a. [AS. dumb; akin to D. dom stupid, dumb, Sw. dumb, Goth. dumbs; cf. Gr. ? blind. See {Deaf}, and cf. {Dummy}.] 1. Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter articulate sounds; as, the dumb brutes. [1913 Webster] To unloose the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dumb — adj 1 Dumb, mute, speechless, inarticulate mean lacking the power to speak. Dumb and mute are often used interchangeably, but when used in distinction from each other, dumb implies an incapacity for speech (as in the case of animals and inanimate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Dumb — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Dumb» Canción de Nirvana álbum In Utero Publicación 21 de septiembre de 1993 …   Wikipedia Español

  • dumb — dumb; dumb·found; dumb·found·er; dumb·ly; dumb·ness; dumb·found·ed·ly; …   English syllables

  • dumb — 1. Dumb now has such strong connotations of stupidity and low intelligence that its original meaning, ‘not able to speak’, is often regarded as offensive. To be safe, it is better to use neutral terms such as speech impaired. 2. The ailing… …   Modern English usage

  • dumb — dəm adj 1) lacking the human power of speech <dumb animals> 2) of a person often offensive lacking the ability to speak dumb·ly dəm lē adv dumb·ness n …   Medical dictionary

  • dumb — (adj.) O.E. dumb silent, unable to speak, from PIE *dheubh confusion, stupefaction, dizziness, from root *dheu (1) dust, mist, vapor, smoke, and related notions of defective perception or wits. The Old English, Old Saxon (dumb), Gothic (dumbs),… …   Etymology dictionary

  • dumb — ► ADJECTIVE 1) unable to speak; lacking the power of speech. 2) temporarily unable or unwilling to speak. 3) informal, chiefly N. Amer. stupid. 4) (of a computer terminal) having no independent processing capability. ► VERB 1) (dumb down) N …   English terms dictionary

  • Dumb — Dumb, v. t. To put to silence. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dumb — [adj1] unable to speak at a loss for words*, inarticulate, incoherent, mousy*, mum, mute, quiet, silent, soundless, speechless, tongue tied, uncommunicative, voiceless, wordless; concept 593 Ant. speaking dumb [adj2] stupid, unintelligent dense,… …   New thesaurus


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