Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



dumb +‎ -ness


dumbness (usually uncountable, plural dumbnesses)

  1. The state of being dumb or mute: that is, of not communicating vocally, whether from selective mutism (refusal to speak) or from an inability to speak.
  2. Muteness, silence; abstention from speech.
    • 1611 Shakespeare, William [first known show: 15 May 1611; posthumous publication: 1623], Winter's Tale, Act 5, Scene 2:
      There was speech in their dumbness.
  3. Show or gesture without words; pantomime; dumb-show.
    • 1623 Shakespeare, William [posthumous publication], Timon of Athens, Act 1, Scene 1:
      To the dumbness of the gesture one might interpret.
  4. (informal) The quality of being stupid or foolish.

Related terms[edit]