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.
dumb show
1 significant gestures or mime, used when words are inappropriate.
2 a part of a play in early drama, acted in mime.
dumb waiter
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.

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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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