dumb


dumb
dumbly, adv.dumbness, n.
/dum/, adj., dumber, dumbest, v.
1. lacking intelligence or good judgment; stupid; dull-witted.
2. lacking the power of speech (often offensive when applied to humans): a dumb animal.
3. temporarily unable to speak: dumb with astonishment.
4. refraining from any or much speech; silent.
5. made, done, etc., without speech.
6. lacking some usual property, characteristic, etc.
7. performed in pantomime; mimed.
8. Computers. pertaining to the inability to do processing locally: A dumb terminal can input, output, and display data, but cannot process it. Cf. intelligent (def. 4).
9. Naut.
a. (of a barge) without means of propulsion.
b. (of any craft) without means of propulsion, steering, or signaling.
v.
10. dumb down, to revise to appeal or be understandable to less intelligent persons; lower the intellectual content of: to dumb down a textbook; the dumbing down of American movies.
[bef. 1000; OE; c. ON dumbr, Goth dumbs, OS dumb, OHG tump, G dumm]
Syn. 2, 3. DUMB, MUTE, SPEECHLESS, VOICELESS describe a condition in which speech is absent. DUMB was formerly used to refer to persons unable to speak; it is now used almost entirely of the inability of animals to speak: dumb beasts of the field. The term MUTE is applied to persons who, usually because of congenital deafness, have never learned to talk: With training most mutes learn to speak well enough to be understood. Either of the foregoing terms or SPEECHLESS may describe a temporary inability to speak, caused by emotion, etc.: dumb with amazement; mute with terror; left speechless by surprise.
VOICELESS means literally having no voice, either from natural causes or from injury: Turtles are voiceless. A laryngectomy leaves a person voiceless until he or she has learned esophageal speech.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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´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… …   Useful english dictionary

  • 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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