muzzle

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English[edit]

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A cow's muzzle (protruding part of animal's head)
A dog wearing a muzzle (sense 3) over its muzzle (sense 1)

Etymology[edit]

From earlier muzle, musle, mousle, mussel, mozell, from Middle English mosel, from Old French musel, museau, muzeau (modern French museau), from Late Latin mūsellum.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

muzzle (plural muzzles)

  1. The protruding part of many animal's head which includes nose, mouth and jaws; snout
  2. The mouth or the end for entrance or discharge of a gun, pistol etc., that the bullet emerges from as opposed to the breech.
  3. A device used to prevent animal from biting or eating, which is worn on its snout.
  4. (chiefly Scotland) A piece of the forward end of the plow-beam by which the traces are attached; bridle
  5. (obsolete, historical) An openwork covering for the nose, used for the defense of the horse, and forming part of the bards in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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Verb[edit]

muzzle (third-person singular simple present muzzles, present participle muzzling, simple past and past participle muzzled)

  1. (transitive) To bind or confine an animal's mouth by putting a muzzle, as to prevent it from eating or biting.
    • Bible, Deuteronomy xxv. 4
      Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.
  2. (transitive, figuratively) To restrain (from speaking, expressing opinion or acting); gag, silence, censor.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) To veil, mask, muffle.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To fondle with the closed mouth; to nuzzle.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of L'Estrange to this entry?)
  5. (intransitive) To bring the muzzle or mouth near.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir R. L'Estrange
      The bear muzzles and smells to him.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  • muzzle in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • muzzle” in OED Online, Oxford University Press, 1989.