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Wordnet 3.0

ADJECTIVE (4)

1. slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity;
- Example: "so dense he never understands anything I say to him"
- Example: "never met anyone quite so dim"
- Example: "although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick"- Thackeray
- Example: "dumb officials make some really dumb decisions"
- Example: "he was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse"
- Example: "worked with the slow students"
[syn: dense, dim, dull, dumb, obtuse, slow]

2. temporarily incapable of speaking;
- Example: "struck dumb"
- Example: "speechless with shock"
[syn: speechless, dumb]

3. lacking the power of human speech;
- Example: "dumb animals"

4. unable to speak because of hereditary deafness;
[syn: dumb, mute, silent]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Dumb \Dumb\, v. t. To put to silence. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster] dumbbell
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. Dummy.] 1. Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter articulate sounds; as, the dumb brutes. [1913 Webster] To unloose the very tongues even of dumb creatures. --Hooker. [1913 Webster] 2. Not willing to speak; mute; silent; not speaking; not accompanied by words; as, dumb show. [1913 Webster] This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him. --Shak. [1913 Webster] To pierce into the dumb past. -- J. C. Shairp. [1913 Webster] 3. Lacking brightness or clearness, as a color. [R.] [1913 Webster] Her stern was painted of a dumb white or dun color. --De Foe. [1913 Webster] 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 speech. Dumb crambo. See under crambo. Dumb show. (a) Formerly, a part of a dramatic representation, shown in pantomime. "Inexplicable dumb shows and noise." --Shak. (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 speech. Syn: Silent; speechless; noiseless. See Mute. [1913 Webster]
WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006):

dumb adj 1: slow to learn or understand; lacking intellectual acuity; "so dense he never understands anything I say to him"; "never met anyone quite so dim"; "although dull at classical learning, at mathematics he was uncommonly quick"- Thackeray; "dumb officials make some really dumb decisions"; "he was either normally stupid or being deliberately obtuse"; "worked with the slow students" [syn: dense, dim, dull, dumb, obtuse, slow] 2: temporarily incapable of speaking; "struck dumb"; "speechless with shock" [syn: speechless, dumb] 3: lacking the power of human speech; "dumb animals" 4: unable to speak because of hereditary deafness [syn: dumb, mute, silent]
Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0:

191 Moby Thesaurus words for "dumb": Boeotian, abiotic, anaudic, animal, animalian, animalic, animalistic, aphasic, aphonic, apish, asinine, awkward, azoic, batty, beastlike, beastly, beef-brained, beef-witted, befooled, beguiled, besotted, bestial, blankminded, blockheaded, blockish, bovine, brainless, breathless, brief, brusque, brutal, brute, brutelike, brutish, buffoonish, callow, chumpish, cloddish, close, close-tongued, closemouthed, cockeyed, concise, cowish, crass, crazy, credulous, curt, daffy, daft, dazed, dense, dizzy, doltish, doting, dull, dullard, dumbfounded, dumbstricken, dumbstruck, duncical, duncish, economical of words, empty, empty-headed, exanimate, fat, fatheaded, fatuitous, fatuous, flaky, fond, fool, foolheaded, foolish, fuddled, futile, gaga, gauche, goofy, green, groping, gross, gulled, idiotic, ignorant, imbecile, inane, inanimate, inanimated, inarticulate, incoherent, indisposed to talk, indistinct, ineducable, inept, inert, inexperienced, infatuated, innocent, insane, insensate, insensible, insentient, instinctive, instinctual, klutzy, know-nothing, kooky, laconic, lifeless, loony, lumpish, mad, maudlin, maundering, mindless, moronic, mum, mute, naive, nescient, nonconscious, nonliving, nonrational, numskulled, nutty, oafish, opaque, quiet, raw, reticent, sappy, screwy, senseless, sentimental, short, silent, silly, simple, snug, sottish, soulless, sparing of words, speechless, strange to, stricken dumb, stupid, subhuman, taciturn, tentative, terse, thick, thick-witted, thoughtless, tight-lipped, tongue-tied, tongueless, unacquainted, unanimated, unapprized, uncommunicative, uncomprehending, unconscious, unconversant, unenlightened, unfamiliar, unfeeling, unilluminated, uninformed, uninitiated, unintelligent, unknowing, unloquacious, unposted, unripe, unsure, untalkative, unteachable, unversed, vacuous, voiceless, wacky, wet, witless, word-bound, wordless, wrongheaded, zoic, zooidal, zoologic
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary:

Dumb from natural infirmity (Ex. 4:11); not knowing what to say (Prov. 31:8); unwillingness to speak (Ps. 39:9; Lev. 10:3). Christ repeatedly restored the dumb (Matt. 9:32, 33; Luke 11:14; Matt. 12:22) to the use of speech.
Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856):

DUMB. One who cannot speak; a person who is mute. See Deaf and dumb, Deaf, dumb, and blind; Mute, standing mute.