- 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 astonishment.3. unwilling to speak; silent; not speaking: »
Yet should you bid me name him, I am dumb (Edna St. Vincent Millay).SYNONYM(S): taciturn, reticent.5. not characterized by or accompanied by speech, words, or sound: »
dumb gestures. A land where newspapers were dumb From scandal and from scare (Andrw Lang).6. lacking some property, quality, or accompaniment normally belonging to others of the same type: »
A dumb barge or craft is one without sails or propelling power.–v.t. dumb down, U.S. Informal.to make less intelligent; lower the intellectual level of: »
They are generally blamed…as having been a major force in dumbing down textbooks nationwide (Atlanta Constitution).╂[Old English dumb; (definition 4) influenced by German dumm stupid]–dumb´ly, adverb.–dumb´ness, noun.Synonym Study 1, 2 Dumb, mute, speechless mean without speech. Dumb means without the power of speech, and although often used interchangeably with mute and speechless, it is the term applied particularly to animals: »
Even intelligent animals are dumb.Mute emphasizes being silent for some strong reason, and applies particularly to people who have never been able to speak because they were born deaf or became deaf in very early life and have never or practically never heard sounds: »
Many mute children now are taught to speak.Speechless applies particularly to someone who is temporarily unable to talk because of emotion, surprise, or the like: »
His remark left me speechless with rage.
Useful english dictionary. 2012.