/dum/, adj., dumber, dumbest, v.1. lacking intelligence or good judgment; stupid; dull-witted.2. lacking the power of speech (often offensive when applied to humans): a dumb animal.3. temporarily unable to speak: dumb with astonishment.4. refraining from any or much speech; silent.5. made, done, etc., without speech.6. lacking some usual property, characteristic, etc.7. performed in pantomime; mimed.8. Computers. pertaining to the inability to do processing locally: A dumb terminal can input, output, and display data, but cannot process it. Cf. intelligent (def. 4).9. Naut.a. (of a barge) without means of propulsion.b. (of any craft) without means of propulsion, steering, or signaling.v.10. dumb down, to revise to appeal or be understandable to less intelligent persons; lower the intellectual content of: to dumb down a textbook; the dumbing down of American movies.Syn. 2, 3. DUMB, MUTE, SPEECHLESS, VOICELESS describe a condition in which speech is absent. DUMB was formerly used to refer to persons unable to speak; it is now used almost entirely of the inability of animals to speak: dumb beasts of the field. The term MUTE is applied to persons who, usually because of congenital deafness, have never learned to talk: With training most mutes learn to speak well enough to be understood. Either of the foregoing terms or SPEECHLESS may describe a temporary inability to speak, caused by emotion, etc.: dumb with amazement; mute with terror; left speechless by surprise.VOICELESS means literally having no voice, either from natural causes or from injury: Turtles are voiceless. A laryngectomy leaves a person voiceless until he or she has learned esophageal speech.
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