1. [syn: mute swan, Cygnus olor]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Mute \Mute\, a. [L. mutus; cf. Gr. my`ein to shut, Skr. m[=u]ta
bound, m[=u]ka dumb: cf. OE. muet, fr. F. muet, a dim. of OF.
mu, L. mutus.]
1. Not speaking; uttering no sound; silent.
All the heavenly choir stood mute,
And silence was in heaven. --Milton.
Note: In law a prisoner is said to stand mute, when, upon
being arranged, he makes no answer, or does not plead
directly, or will not put himself on trial.
2. Incapable of speaking; dumb. --Dryden.
3. Not uttered; unpronounced; silent; also, produced by
complete closure of the mouth organs which interrupt the
passage of breath; -- said of certain letters. See 5th
4. Not giving a ringing sound when struck; -- said of a
Mute swan (Zool.), a European wild white swan (Cygnus
olor syn. Cygnus gibbus), which produces no loud notes,
in distinction from the Trumpeter swan.
Syn: Silent; dumb; speechless.
Usage: Mute, Silent, Dumb. One is silent who does not
speak; one is dumb who can not, for want of the proper
organs; as, a dumb beast, etc.; and hence,
figuratively, we speak of a person as struck dumb with
astonishment, etc. One is mute who is held back from
speaking by some special cause; as, he was mute
through fear; mute astonishment, etc. Such is the case
with most of those who never speak from childhood;
they are not ordinarily dumb, but mute because they
are deaf, and therefore never learn to talk; and hence
their more appropriate name is deaf-mutes.
They spake not a word;
But, like dumb statues, or breathing stones,
Gazed each on other. --Shak.
All sat mute,
Pondering the danger with deep thoughts.
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):
n 1: soundless Eurasian swan; commonly domesticated [syn: mute
swan, Cygnus olor]