muffle

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See also: müffle

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English muflen (to muffle), aphetic alteration of Anglo-Norman amoufler, from Old French enmoufler (to wrap up, muffle), from moufle (mitten), from Medieval Latin muffula (a muff), of Germanic origin (—first recorded in the Capitulary of Aachen in 817 CE), from Frankish *muffël (a muff, wrap, envelope) from *mauwa (sleeve, wrap) (from Proto-Germanic *mawwō (sleeve)) + *vël (skin, hide) (from Proto-Germanic *fellą (skin, film, fleece). Alternate etymology traces the Medieval Latin word to Frankish *molfell (soft garment made of hide) from *mol (softened, forworn) (akin to Old High German molawēn (to soften), Middle High German molwic (soft), English mulch) + *fell (hide, skin).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌfəl

Noun[edit]

muffle (plural muffles)

  1. Anything that mutes or deadens sound.
  2. A warm piece of clothing for the hands.
  3. (slang, archaic) A boxing glove.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling
      N.B.—Mr Broughton proposes, with proper assistance, to open an academy at his house in the Haymarket, for the instruction of those who are willing to be initiated in the mystery of boxing: [] muffles are provided, that will effectually secure them from the inconveniency of black eyes, broken jaws, and bloody noses.
  4. A kiln or furnace, often electric, with no direct flames (a muffle furnace)
  5. The bare end of the nose between the nostrils, especially in ruminants.
  6. A machine with two pulleys to hoist load by spinning wheels, polyspast, block and tackle.
    • 1858, Newton's London Journal of Arts and Sciences. New Series, volume 7, page 26:
      Between the two pulleys c, c¹, and around the shaft a, is a muffle d, which receives at both ends the rounded heads of three, four, five, or more screws f, which act as levers. The levers are formed of a right and lefthanded screw, f, and f¹. The two screws are united together by means of a nut g, so that, by turning it, they are lengthened or shortened. The heads of the upper screws f¹, act upon the blocks e, e¹, contained in boxes supported by the plates h, h¹, through the centre of which passes the shaft a. These plates h, h¹, are fixed on the shaft a; they are of a smaller diameter than the inside of the pulleys c, c¹; their object is to keep the blocks e, e¹, from twisting.
      By moving the muffle d, to the left, the levers or screws f, f, will force the blocks e, to bear against the inside of the pulley c, placed on that side. The motion of this pulley will cause the muffle d, and consequently the shaft a, to revolve. By pushing the muffle d, on the opposite side, the blocks e, will depress the pulley c, and the blocks e¹, will bear against the pulley c¹, the band of which being crossed, will cause the shaft a, to revolve in a reverse direction.
      This shaft being furnished with a pinion, will transmit to a toothed wheel or rack, a motion in both directions at the desired instant, since it is only necessary to give the muffle d, a lateral movement from right to left, or from left to right, by means of a fork which acts on the part b.
      By placing the muffle d, half way between the two pullies c, and c¹, the blocks e, and e¹, will release the said pullies, and the shaft a, will be motionless.
      The patentee claims, ”the characteristic principle of the mechanical combination herein described, applicable to all cases where it may be useful, by varying the shapes or dimensions according to the power of the machines to which they may be applied.”

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

muffle (third-person singular simple present muffles, present participle muffling, simple past and past participle muffled)

  1. (transitive) To wrap (a person, face etc.) in fabric or another covering, for warmth or protection; often with up.
    • Addison
      The face lies muffled up within the garment.
    • Dryden
      He muffled with a cloud his mournful eyes.
    • Arbuthnot
      muffled up in darkness and superstition
  2. (transitive) To wrap up or cover (a source of noise) in order to deaden the sound.
    to muffle the strings of a drum, or that part of an oar which rests in the rowlock
  3. (transitive) To mute or deaden (a sound etc.).
    • 1999, George RR Martin, A Clash of Kings, Bantam 2011, p. 397:
      The singer's voice was muffled by the thick walls, yet Tyrion knew the verse.
  4. (intransitive, dated) To speak indistinctly, or without clear articulation.
  5. (transitive, dated) To prevent seeing, or hearing, or speaking, by wraps bound about the head; to blindfold; to deafen.

Translations[edit]