1. [syn: dumb cane, mother-in-law plant, mother-in-law's tongue, Dieffenbachia sequine]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Dumb \Dumb\, a. [AS. dumb; akin to D. dom stupid, dumb, Sw.
dumb, Goth. dumbs; cf. Gr. ? blind. See Deaf, and cf.
1. Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter
articulate sounds; as, the dumb brutes.
To unloose the very tongues even of dumb creatures.
2. Not willing to speak; mute; silent; not speaking; not
accompanied by words; as, dumb show.
This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him. --Shak.
To pierce into the dumb past. -- J. C.
3. Lacking brightness or clearness, as a color. [R.]
Her stern was painted of a dumb white or dun color.
Deaf and dumb. See Deaf-mute.
Dumb ague, or Dumb chill, a form of intermittent fever
which has no well-defined "chill." [U.S.]
Dumb animal, any animal except man; -- usually restricted
to a domestic quadruped; -- so called in contradistinction
to man, who is a "speaking animal."
Dumb cake, a cake made in silence by girls on St. Mark's
eve, with certain mystic ceremonies, to discover their
future husbands. --Halliwell.
Dumb cane (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
Dumb crambo. See under crambo.
(a) Formerly, a part of a dramatic representation, shown
in pantomime. "Inexplicable dumb shows and noise."
(b) Signs and gestures without words; as, to tell a story
in dumb show.
To strike dumb, to confound; to astonish; to render silent
by astonishment; or, it may be, to deprive of the power of
Syn: Silent; speechless; noiseless. See Mute.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: an evergreen plant with large showy dark green leaves;
contains a poison that swells the tongue and throat hence
the name [syn: dumb cane, mother-in-law plant, mother-
in-law's tongue, Dieffenbachia sequine]