When you mutter, you mumble under your breath, often in an angry way. You might mutter to yourself as you clean graffiti off your garage, for example.

An irritable teenager might mutter when her parents make her get off the couch and mow the lawn, and your uncle might mutter at the television every night when he watches the news. When someone mutters, she speaks in a low voice, either to herself or to another person. Mutter was originally moteren in the fourteenth century, and it comes from a Proto-Indo-European root, mut, which was most likely imitative — in other words, it sounds like its meaning.

Definitions of mutter

v talk indistinctly; usually in a low voice

maunder, mumble, mussitate
Type of:
mouth, speak, talk, utter, verbalise, verbalize
express in speech

v make complaining remarks or noises under one's breath

croak, gnarl, grumble, murmur
Type of:
complain, kick, kvetch, plain, quetch, sound off
express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness

n a low continuous indistinct sound; often accompanied by movement of the lips without the production of articulate speech

murmur, murmuration, murmuring, mussitation, muttering
Type of:
the sudden occurrence of an audible event

n a complaint uttered in a low and indistinct tone

grumble, grumbling, murmur, murmuring, muttering
Type of:
an expression of grievance or resentment