Open main menu
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.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) Chapman
      By him a shirt and utter mantle laid.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Spenser
      As doth an hidden moth / The inner garment fret, not th' utter touch.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      Through utter and through middle darkness borne.
  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
    • (Can we date this quote?) Atterbury
      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 say
    Don't you utter another word!
  2. (transitive) To use the voice
    Sally uttered a sigh of relief.
    The dog uttered a growling bark.
  3. (transitive) To make speech sounds which may or may not have an actual language involved
    Sally is uttering some fairly strange things in her illness.
    • 2007, 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.
  4. (transitive) To make (a noise)
    Sally's car uttered a hideous shriek when she applied the brakes.
  5. (law, transitive) To put counterfeit money, etc., into circulation
    • 1881, Ephraim Arnold Jacob, ‎Robert Alexander Fisher, An Analytical Digest of the Law and Practice of the Courts of Common Law
      If two jointly prepare counterfeit coin, and 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.
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.

Etymology 3Edit

From Old English ūtor, comparative of ūt (out).


utter (comparative more utter, superlative most utter)

  1. (obsolete) Further out; further away, outside.
    • 1485 July 31, Thomas Malory, “(please specify the chapter)”, in [Le Morte Darthur], (please specify the book number), [London]: [] [by William Caxton], OCLC 71490786; republished as H[einrich] Oskar Sommer, editor, Le Morte Darthur [], London: Published by David Nutt, [], 1889, OCLC 890162034:
      , Bk.VII, Ch.v:
      So whan he com nyghe to hir, she bade hym ryde uttir—‘for thou smellyst all of the kychyn.’



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