See also: Utter



Etymology 1Edit

From Old English ūtera, comparative of ūt (out). Compare outer.


utter (not comparable)

  1. (now poetic, literary) Outer; furthest out, most remote. [from 10th c.]
  2. (obsolete) Outward. [13th–16th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Matthew XXIII:
      Wo be to you scrybes and pharises ypocrites, for ye make clene the utter side off the cuppe, and off the platter: but within they are full of brybery and excesse.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.10:
      So forth without impediment I past, / Till to the Bridges utter gate I came [] .
  3. Absolute, unconditional, total, complete. [from 15th c.]
    utter ruin; utter darkness
    • 1708, Francis Atterbury, Fourteen Sermons Preach'd on Several Occasions : Preface
      They [] are utter strangers to all those anxious [] thoughts which [] disquiet mankind.
    • 1920, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Thuvia, Maiden of Mars[1], HTML edition, The Gutenberg Project, published 2008:
      His eyes could not penetrate the darkness even to the distinguishing of his hand before his face, while the banths, he knew, could see quite well, though absence of light were utter.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Partly from out (adverb, verb), partly from Middle Dutch uteren.


utter (third-person singular simple present utters, present participle uttering, simple past and past participle uttered)

  1. (transitive) To produce (speech or other sounds) with one's voice.
    Synonyms: let out, say, speak
    Don't you utter another word!
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Proverbs 1.20,[2]
      Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets:
    • 1748, Tobias Smollett, The Adventures of Roderick Random, London: J. Osborn, Volume 2, Chapter 50, p. 156,[3]
      [] he made no other reply, for some time, than lifting up his eyes, clasping his hands, and uttering a hollow groan.
    • 1868, Louisa May Alcott, Little Women, Boston: Roberts Brothers, Volume 1, Chapter 17, p. 263,[4]
      [] Laurie slyly pulled the parrot’s tail, which caused Polly to utter an astonished croak,
    • 1997, Don DeLillo, Underworld: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Scribner Classics, →ISBN, page 543:
      I wanted to look up velleity and quotidian and memorize the fuckers for all time, spell them, learn them, pronounce them syllable by syllable—vocalize, phonate, utter the sounds, say the words for all they're worth.
  2. (transitive) To reveal or express (an idea, thought, desire, etc.) with speech.
    Synonyms: declare, say, tell
    • 1644, John Milton, Areopagitica, London, p. 35,[5]
      Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, Dublin: John Smith, Volume 1, Book 2, Chapter 6, p. 77,[6]
      [] tho’ a few odd Fellows will utter their own Sentiments in all Places, yet much the greater Part of Mankind have enough of the Courtier to accommodate their Conversation to the Taste and Inclination of their Superiors.
    • 1871, George Eliot, Middlemarch, Edinburgh: William Blackwood, Volume 4, Part 2, Book 8, Chapter 83, p. 323,[7]
      Each had been full of thoughts which neither of them could begin to utter.
    • 1959, Muriel Spark, Memento Mori, New York: Time, 1964, Chapter , p. 213,[8]
      “Your master,” he declared, “has uttered a damnable lie about a dead friend of mine.”
    • 1995, Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, Part 11, p. 528,[9]
      “Don’t worry about me,” he uttered with minimum lip movement.
  3. (transitive, figuratively) To produce (a noise) (of an inanimate object).
    Synonyms: emit, let out
    Sally's car uttered a hideous shriek when she applied the brakes.
  4. (transitive, obsolete) To spit or blow (something) out of one's mouth.
    • 1819, Washington Irving, “Rip van Winkle” in The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., London: John Murray, 3rd ed., 1820, Volume 1, p. 79,[10]
      He looked in vain for the sage Nicholas Vedder, with his broad face, double chin, and fair long pipe, uttering clouds of tobacco smoke instead of idle speeches;
    • 1821, Charles Lamb, “The Old Benchers of the Inner Temple” in The London Magazine, Volume 4, No. 21, September 1821, p. 280,[11]
      Four little winged marble boys used to play their virgin fancies, spouting out ever fresh streams from their innocent-wanton lips, in the square of Lincoln’s-inn [] Are the stiff-wigged living figures, that still flitter and chatter about that area, less gothic in appearance? or, is the splutter of their hot rhetoric one half so refreshing and innocent, as the little cool playful streams those exploded cherubs uttered?
  5. (transitive, obsolete) To emit or give off (breath).
    • c. 1595, William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act IV, Scene 2,[12]
      [] most dear actors, eat no onions nor garlic, for we are to utter sweet breath;
    • 1629, William Davenant, The Tragedy of Albovine, King of the Lombards, London: R. Moore, Act I, Scene 1,[13]
      [] now the King forsakes
      The Campe, he must maintaine luxurious mouthes,
      Such as can vtter perfum’d breath,
  6. (transitive, archaic) To shed (a tear or tears).
    • 1615, Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher, Cupid’s Revenge, London: Josias Harrison, Act V, Scene 1,[14]
      [] weepe now or neuer, thou hast made more sorrowes then we haue eyes to vtter.
    • 1928, Robert Byron, The Station: Travels to the Holy Mountain of Greece, Bloomsbury, 2010, Chapter 6,[15]
      [] a mythological matron, in a classical helmet, uttering a tear at a rustic cross bound in blue and white ribbons and inscribed TO THE FALLEN—1912,
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To offer (something) for sale; to sell.
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To put (currency) into circulation.
    Synonym: circulate
    • 1564, Proclamation of Elizabeth I of England dated November, 1564, London: Richard Jugge and John Cawood, 1565,[20]
      [] there are [] forrayne peeces of golde, of the like quantitie and fashion (although of lesse value) lyke to an Englyshe Angell, brought hyther, and here vttered and payde for ten shyllynges of syluer, beyng for they lacke of wayght, and for the basenesse of the allay, not worth. vii. shillinges, to the great deceite and losse of the subiectes of this her Realme:
    • 1735, Jonathan Swift, Drapier’s Letters, Letter 3, in The Works of Jonathan Swift, Dublin: George Faulkner, Volume 4, p. 123,[21]
      There is nothing remaining to preserve us from Ruin, but that the whole Kingdom should continue in a firm determinate Resolution never to receive or utter this FATAL Coin:
    • 1842, cited in Supplement to The Jurist, containing a Digest of All the Reported Cases [] published during the year 1842, p. 49,[22]
      If two persons jointly prepare counterfeit coin, and then utter it in different shops, apart from each other, but in concert, and intending to share the proceeds, the utterings of each are the joint utterings of both, and they may be convicted jointly.
  9. (transitive, obsolete) To show (something that has been hidden); to reveal the identity of (someone).
  10. (transitive, obsolete) To send or put (something) out.
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



From Old Norse otr, from Proto-Germanic *utraz, from Proto-Indo-European *udrós (water-animal, otter), from *wed- (water).


utter c

  1. otter; a mammal of the family Mustelidae


Declension of utter 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative utter uttern uttrar uttrarna
Genitive utters utterns uttrars uttrarnas