1 a (of a person) unable to speak, usu. because of a congenital defect or deafness. b (of an animal) naturally unable to speak (our dumb friends).
2 silenced by surprise, shyness, etc. (struck dumb by this revelation).
3 taciturn or reticent, esp. insultingly (dumb insolence).
4 (of an action etc.) performed without speech.
5 (often in comb.) giving no sound; without voice or some other property normally belonging to things of the name (a dumb piano).
6 colloq. esp. US stupid; ignorant.
7 (usu. of a class, population, etc.) having no voice in government; inarticulate (the dumb masses).
8 (of a computer terminal etc.) able only to transmit data to or receive data from a computer; not programmable (opp. INTELLIGENT).
Phrases and idioms:
dumb animals animals, esp. as objects of pity. dumb-bell
1 a short bar with a weight at each end, used for exercise, muscle-building, etc.
2 sl. a stupid person, esp. a woman. dumb blonde a pretty but stupid blonde woman. dumb cluck sl. a stupid person. dumb crambo see CRAMBO. dumb-iron the curved side-piece of a motor-vehicle chassis, joining it to the front springs. dumb piano Mus. a silent or dummy keyboard.
1 significant gestures or mime, used when words are inappropriate.
2 a part of a play in early drama, acted in mime.
1 a small lift for carrying food, plates, etc., between floors.
2 a movable table, esp. with revolving shelves, used in a dining-room.
dumbly adv. dumbness n.
Etymology: OE: orig. unkn.: sense 6 f. G dumm
Useful english dictionary. 2012.