Main definitions of utter in English

: utter1utter2

utter1

adjective

attributive
  • Complete; absolute.

    ‘Charlotte stared at her in utter amazement’
    • ‘To walk into a bar even with a toy gun was an act of absolute and utter madness.’
    • ‘You seem to have found a balance between absolute asceticism and utter hedonism.’
    • ‘He looked back and there was Megan, standing at the door with a tear stained face, her expression showing pure and utter confusion and disbelief.’
    • ‘The look Evangeline gave me was one of complete and utter amazement.’
    • ‘To my complete and utter amazement, I felt okay, not just physically but emotionally as well.’
    • ‘She later apologised but the judge said she was a ‘harridan’ who had acted like ‘an utter and absolute maniac’.’
    • ‘The utter inconsistency is absolutely breathtaking.’
    • ‘The night had been a mess, an absolute, utter disaster.’
    • ‘I believe that what has happened is nothing short of an absolute and utter tragedy.’
    • ‘But, being a total and utter obsessive perfectionist about most things, it has been a good challenge for me to leave it very imperfect.’
    • ‘He just looked at Adam in absolute, utter disgust and contempt.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that people listening to this will be absolutely flabbergasted by the utter waste of time that has gone on here tonight.’
    • ‘The general manager stared at him in utter amazement.’
    • ‘To his utter horror and amazement, 20 to 30 journalists were there to meet him.’
    • ‘He looked at me for a moment in utter confusion, then snapped his fingers as if he suddenly realised who I was.’
    • ‘The rest of the night was filled with small talk and other utter nonsense.’
    • ‘Such behavior exemplifies the utter contempt in which he was held by U.S. officials.’
    • ‘To my utter amazement, she hardly cried for more than a few seconds!’
    • ‘Another persistent theme is the utter disregard for the health and safety of working people.’
    • ‘Your first thought might be to regard this as utter lunacy.’
    complete, total, absolute, thorough, perfect, downright, out-and-out, outright, thoroughgoing, all-out, sheer, positive, prize, rank, pure, dyed-in-the-wool, deep-dyed, real, veritable, consummate, categorical, unmitigated, unqualified, unadulterated, unalloyed, unconditional, unequivocal, full, unlimited, limitless, infinite, ultimate
    View synonyms

Origin

Old English ūtera, ūttra ‘outer’, comparative of ūt ‘out’; compare with outer.

Pronunciation

utter

/ˈʌtə/

Main definitions of utter in English

: utter1utter2

utter2

verb

[with object]
  • 1Make (a sound) with one's voice.

    ‘he uttered an exasperated snort’
    • ‘Stepping back, he opened his mouth to speak but could not utter a sound.’
    • ‘The now familiar voice sounded yet a third time, uttering the first sound I heard after my prayer.’
    • ‘Arthur opened his mouth to protest or demand an explanation - but let his mouth hang open without uttering a sound.’
    • ‘Her terror was far too great to permit her mouth to utter a sound.’
    • ‘Julia uttered a tiny sound, a sort of squeak of surprise.’
    • ‘Her mouth had gone so dry she could not utter a sound.’
    • ‘He panted, tried to speak but was unable to utter a sound.’
    • ‘You could actually participate in telling a lie without uttering a single sound.’
    • ‘Many uttered sounds of warm appreciation while giving a standing ovation when the show concluded.’
    • ‘Not a sound was uttered, and it seemed that everyone was holding their breath.’
    • ‘She shakes her head, nods and shrugs, but won't utter a sound, even when asked direct questions.’
    • ‘Matt nodded in her direction, not uttering a single sound.’
    • ‘She stuttered awkwardly, trying to introduce herself, incapable of uttering a coherent sound.’
    • ‘He tossed his head slightly, and uttered a small sound, barely an exhalation.’
    • ‘He looked thoughtful for a moment, then he uttered a low sound of understanding.’
    • ‘He was so surprised by this sudden attack that he didn't utter a sound.’
    • ‘There is someone though that could make that claim but has never uttered a peep.’
    • ‘The press politely looked the other way, never uttering a peep.’
    • ‘She could not even utter a cry of pain, just a short gasp of disbelief.’
    • ‘My throat was so parched that I could barely utter a sound.’
    • ‘Adriane uttered a weak cry as she tripped over her own feet, exhausted.’
    • ‘As if on key, she utters one of her old undignified yelps because her newly distinguished father walks into the room.’
    emit, let out, give, produce, give vent to, issue, come out with, breathe
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Say (something) aloud.
      ‘they are busily scribbling down every word she utters’
      • ‘She blinked stupidly at him, too shocked to utter a word.’
      • ‘The threatening tone in which he uttered those words would once have made her flinch, but she did not.’
      • ‘The little boy utters the same encouraging words she used to cheer him up.’
      • ‘‘I love you’ - three simple words uttered millions of times a day by millions of people, some of whom might even mean it.’
      • ‘The word dude is uttered all the time in LA, in casual conversation, in business meetings, and from the pulpit.’
      • ‘Before slipping into unconsciousness, he uttered just five more words.’
      • ‘She regretted the words the moment she uttered them.’
      • ‘She just about managed to utter the last two words before she pushed away his hands, buried her face in her own skirts and burst into tears.’
      • ‘I uttered a single swear word and looked away impatiently.’
      • ‘‘It's shocking news’ were the words uttered by each and every farmer interviewed by the Western People.’
      • ‘While I disagree with him on many issues, he utters some uncomfortable truths.’
      • ‘Karen closed her eyes and drew in several sharp breaths as he uttered those words.’
      • ‘He can barely conceal his contempt when he utters the words, ‘liberal intelligencia’.’
      • ‘Edwards, as nearly as I can tell, never utters a word without one or more hands gesturing in some significant, word-intensifying manner.’
      • ‘He probably utters the word ‘hipster’ 20 times a day before breakfast.’
      • ‘We all walked back to the van not uttering even a word; we dropped everyone at home.’
      • ‘Tall and well-built he never uttered a wrong word on the field of play.’
      • ‘When she is gone, Jack angrily punches the air and utters a curse.’
      • ‘"No, " Jim replies, uttering what is perhaps the single saddest word in the book.’
      • ‘The defendant is entitled to particulars of where and when the slander was alleged to have been uttered.’
      • ‘He acknowledged that it would not have been out of character for him to have uttered such a phrase.’
      • ‘When the phrase ‘electronic music’ is uttered, several things come to my mind.’
      • ‘It was at this point that he uttered his now infamous statement that ‘when the seagulls follow the trawler it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea’.’
      voice, express, put into words, speak, say, deliver, sound, mouth, breathe, articulate, pronounce, enunciate, verbalize, vocalize, state, declare
      View synonyms
  • 2Law
    Put (forged money) into circulation.

    • ‘A day later he was granted bail for offences of conspiracy to utter counterfeit currency and conspiracy to defraud.’
    • ‘That man, who had pleaded guilty to forging and uttering, filled out his electoral return wrongly, took money that he said he would not take, and filled in his ministerial return as being nil.’
    • ‘There was one offence after the other: covering up the books, uttering, forging, and falsifying cheques, and on top of that there were five drink-driving convictions.’
    • ‘He was once arrested on suspicion of having uttered forged bills.’

Origin

Late Middle English from Middle Dutch ūteren ‘speak, make known, give currency to coins’.

Pronunciation

utter

/ˈʌtə/