utter

The adjective utter is often used as an intensifier to mean "total" — often with negative connotations (like "utter failure"). As a verb, the word has a totally unrelated meaning: to speak or to articulate a sound.

If you utter something, you give it voice. You could utter a cry or utter complete sentences; either way, you are expressing yourself. However, if you declare someone an utter moron, you are saying he is a complete and total moron; not that he is a moron expressing himself. Don't confuse the spelling of utter with udder — the latter is the part of the cow that you milk.

Definitions of utter
  1. adjective
    without qualification; used informally as (often pejorative) intensifiers
    utter nonsense”
    synonyms: arrant, complete, consummate, double-dyed, everlasting, gross, perfect, pure, sodding, staring, stark, thoroughgoing, unadulterated
    unmitigated
    not diminished or moderated in intensity or severity; sometimes used as an intensifier
  2. adjective
    complete
    utter seriousness”
    synonyms: dead
    complete
    having every necessary or normal part or component or step
  3. verb
    express audibly; utter sounds (not necessarily words)
    “He uttered strange sounds that nobody could understand”
    synonyms: emit, let loose, let out
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    types:
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    call
    utter in a loud voice or announce
    gibber
    chatter inarticulately; of monkeys
    crow
    express pleasure verbally
    crow
    utter shrill sounds
    trumpet
    utter in trumpet-like sounds
    coo
    cry softly, as of pigeons
    call, cry, holler, hollo, scream, shout, shout out, squall, yell
    utter a sudden loud cry
    miaou, miaow
    make a cat-like sound
    tsk, tut, tut-tut
    utter `tsk,' `tut,' or `tut-tut,' as in disapproval
    echo, repeat
    to say again or imitate
    call
    utter a characteristic note or cry
    shoot
    utter fast and forcefully
    gurgle
    utter with a gurgling sound
    cry
    utter a characteristic sound
    nasale
    speak in a nasal voice
    bite out
    utter
    sigh
    utter with a sigh
    troat
    emit a cry intended to attract other animals; used especially of animals at rutting time
    lift
    make audible
    gasp, pant
    utter while panting, as if out of breath
    volley
    utter rapidly
    break into
    express or utter spontaneously
    heave
    utter a sound, as with obvious effort
    chorus
    utter in unison
    splutter, sputter
    utter with a spitting sound, as if in a rage
    deliver
    utter (an exclamation, noise, etc.)
    hoot
    to utter a loud clamorous shout
    grunt
    issue a grunting, low, animal-like noise
    wolf-whistle
    whistle or howl approvingly at a female, of males
    snort
    indicate contempt by breathing noisily and forcefully through the nose
    spit, spit out
    utter with anger or contempt
    groan, moan
    indicate pain, discomfort, or displeasure
    growl, grumble, rumble
    utter or emit low dull rumbling sounds
    howl, wrawl, yammer, yowl
    cry loudly, as of animals
    bark
    make barking sounds
    baa, blat, blate, bleat
    cry plaintively
    bellow, roar
    make a loud noise, as of an animal
    cheep, chirp, chirrup, peep
    make high-pitched sounds
    churr, whirr
    make a vibrant sound, as of some birds
    chirr
    make a vibrant noise, of grasshoppers or cicadas
    meow, mew
    cry like a cat
    quack
    utter quacking noises
    hoot
    utter the characteristic sound of owls
    cronk, honk
    cry like a goose
    hiss, sibilate, siss, sizz
    make a sharp hissing sound, as if to show disapproval
    sibilate
    utter a sibilant
    bray, hee-haw
    make a sound characteristic of donkeys
    oink, squeal
    utter a high-pitched cry, characteristic of pigs
    clack, click, cluck
    make a clucking sounds, characteristic of hens
    low, moo
    make a low noise, characteristic of bovines
    cackle
    squawk shrilly and loudly, characteristic of hens
    gobble
    make a gurgling sound, characteristic of turkeys
    neigh, nicker, whicker, whinny
    make a characteristic sound, of a horse
    gargle
    utter with gargling or burbling sounds
    caw
    utter a cry, characteristic of crows, rooks, or ravens
    mew
    utter a high-pitched cry, as of seagulls
    haw
    utter `haw'
    hem
    utter `hem' or `ahem'
    croak, cronk
    utter a hoarse sound, like a raven
    sing
    to make melodious sounds
    smack
    press (the lips) together and open (the lips) noisily, as in eating
    give
    emit or utter
    catcall
    whistle or make a suggestive comment to someone passing by
    hollo
    cry hollo
    hurrah
    shout `hurrah!'
    halloo
    shout `halloo', as when greeting someone or attracting attention
    whoop
    shout, as if with joy or enthusiasm
    pipe, pipe up, shriek, shrill
    utter a shrill cry
    recite
    repeat aloud from memory
    cuckoo
    repeat monotonously, like a cuckoo repeats his call
    reecho
    repeat back like an echo
    parrot
    repeat mindlessly
    regurgitate, reproduce
    repeat after memorization
    pant-hoot
    communicate by hooting and panting, as of primates
    grunt-hoot
    communicate by hooting and grunting, as of primates
    howl, roar, ululate, wail, yaup, yawl
    emit long loud cries
    bay, quest
    bark with prolonged noises, of dogs
    yap, yelp, yip
    bark in a high-pitched tone
    screak, screech, skreak, skreigh, squawk
    utter a harsh abrupt scream
    chitter, twitter
    make high-pitched sounds, as of birds
    assibilate
    insert a sibilant sound before or after (another sound)
    gaggle
    make a noise characteristic of a goose
  4. verb
    articulate; either verbally or with a cry, shout, or noise
    “He uttered a curse”
    synonyms: express, give tongue to, verbalise, verbalize
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    types:
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    blaspheme, curse, cuss, imprecate, swear
    utter obscenities or profanities
    wish
    make or express a wish
    call out, cry, cry out, exclaim, outcry, shout
    utter aloud; often with surprise, horror, or joy
    clamor, clamour
    utter or proclaim insistently and noisily
    shout out, vociferate
    utter in a very loud voice
    marvel
    express astonishment or surprise about something
    voice
    give voice to
    raise
    cause to be heard or known; express or utter
    breathe
    utter or tell
    drop
    utter with seeming casualness
    pour out
    express without restraint
    get off
    deliver verbally
    platitudinize
    utter platitudes
    say
    utter aloud
    represent
    serve as a means of expressing something
    say, state, tell
    express in words
    pooh-pooh
    express contempt about
    hurl, throw
    utter with force; utter vehemently
    lay out, present, represent
    bring forward and present to the mind
    misstate
    state something incorrectly
    answer, reply, respond
    react verbally
    belie, misrepresent
    represent falsely
    gee
    give a command to a horse to turn to the right side
    aah, ooh
    express admiration and pleasure by uttering `ooh' or `aah'
    introduce, precede, preface, premise
    furnish with a preface or introduction
    announce, declare
    announce publicly or officially
    articulate, enunciate, vocalise, vocalize
    express or state clearly
    dramatise, dramatize
    represent something in a dramatic manner
    portray
    portray in words
    get out
    express with difficulty
    declare
    state emphatically and authoritatively
    declare
    make a declaration (of dutiable goods) to a customs official
    mention, note, observe, remark
    make mention of
    bring forward, call up
    bring forward for consideration
    add, append, supply
    state or say further
    explain
    define
    give
    convey or reveal information
    embody
    represent or express something abstract in tangible form
    sum, sum up, summarise, summarize
    be a summary of
  5. verb
    express in speech
    synonyms: mouth, speak, talk, verbalise, verbalize
    verbalise, verbalize
    be verbose
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    types:
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    read
    look at, interpret, and say out loud something that is written or printed
    phonate, vocalise, vocalize
    utter speech sounds
    troll
    speak or recite rapidly or in a rolling voice
    begin
    begin to speak or say
    lip off, shoot one's mouth off
    speak spontaneously and without restraint
    shout
    utter in a loud voice; talk in a loud voice (usually denoting characteristic manner of speaking)
    whisper
    speak softly; in a low voice
    peep
    speak in a hesitant and high-pitched tone of voice
    speak up
    speak louder; raise one's voice
    snap, snarl
    utter in an angry, sharp, or abrupt tone
    enthuse
    utter with enthusiasm
    speak in tongues
    speak unintelligibly in or as if in religious ecstasy
    swallow
    utter indistinctly
    verbalise, verbalize
    be verbose
    whiff
    utter with a puff of air
    talk about, talk of
    discuss or mention
    blubber, blubber out
    utter while crying
    drone, drone on
    talk in a monotonous voice
    bumble, falter, stammer, stutter
    speak haltingly
    rasp
    utter in a grating voice
    blunder, blunder out, blurt, blurt out, ejaculate
    utter impulsively
    inflect, modulate, tone
    vary the pitch of one's speech
    deliver, present
    deliver (a speech, oration, or idea)
    generalise, generalize
    speak or write in generalities
    blab, blabber, chatter, clack, gabble, gibber, maunder, palaver, piffle, prate, prattle, tattle, tittle-tattle, twaddle
    speak (about unimportant matters) rapidly and incessantly
    chatter
    make noise as if chattering away
    jaw, rattle on, yack, yack away, yap away
    talk incessantly and tiresomely
    open up
    talk freely and without inhibition
    snivel, whine
    talk in a tearful manner
    murmur
    speak softly or indistinctly
    maunder, mumble, mussitate, mutter
    talk indistinctly; usually in a low voice
    slur
    utter indistinctly
    bark
    speak in an unfriendly tone
    bay
    utter in deep prolonged tones
    jabber, mouth off, rabbit on, rant, rave, spout
    talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner
    hiss, sibilate, siss, sizz
    express or utter with a hiss
    cackle
    talk or utter in a cackling manner
    babble
    utter meaningless sounds, like a baby, or utter in an incoherent way
    chant, intone, tone
    utter monotonously and repetitively and rhythmically
    gulp
    utter or make a noise, as when swallowing too quickly
    sing
    produce tones with the voice
    deadpan
    speak in a deliberately impassive or serious manner
    numerate
    read out loud as words written numbers
    dictate
    say out loud for the purpose of recording
    discuss, hash out, talk over
    speak with others about (something); talk (something) over in detail; have a discussion
    blaspheme
    speak of in an irreverent or impious manner
    coo
    speak softly or lovingly
    scream, yell
    utter or declare in a very loud voice
    holler, holler out
    shout out
    roar, thunder
    utter words loudly and forcefully
    rhapsodise, rhapsodize
    say (something) with great enthusiasm
    orate, speechify
    make speeches; hold forth, or harangue with a certain degree of formality
    babble, blather, blether, blither, smatter
    talk foolishly
    susurrate
    issue soft noises
    bawl, bellow
    shout loudly and without restraint
    place
    sing a note with the correct pitch
    troll
    sing loudly and without inhibition
    croon
    sing softly
    cantillate, chant, intonate, intone
    recite with musical intonation; recite as a chant or a psalm
    descant, warble, yodel
    sing by changing register; sing by yodeling
    quaver, trill, warble
    sing or play with trills, alternating with the half note above or below
    treble
    sing treble
    hum
    sing with closed lips
    call
    read aloud to check for omissions or absentees
    belt, belt out
    sing loudly and forcefully
    descant on
    sing a descant on a main tune or melody
    vocalise, vocalize
    sing (each note a scale or in a melody) with the same vowel
    harmonise, harmonize
    sing or play in harmony
    descant
    sing in descant
    sing along
    sing with a choir or an orchestra
    psalm
    sing or celebrate in psalms
    minstrel
    celebrate by singing, in the style of minstrels
    solmizate
    sing using syllables like `do', `re' and `mi' to represent the tones of the scale
    chirp, tweedle
    sing in modulation
    choir, chorus
    sing in a choir
    sing
    deliver by singing
    type of:
    communicate, intercommunicate
    transmit thoughts or feelings
  6. verb
    put into circulation
    utter counterfeit currency”
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    type of:
    circulate, distribute, pass around, pass on
    cause to be distributed
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