Etymology
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mute (adj.)

late 14c., mewet "silent, not speaking," from Old French muet "dumb, mute" (12c.), diminutive of mut, mo, from Latin mutus "silent, speechless, dumb," probably from imitative base *meue- (source also of Sanskrit mukah "dumb," Greek myein "to be shut," of the mouth). Form assimilated in 16c. to Latin mutus. The meaning "incapable of utterance, dumb" is by mid-15c.

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mute (v.)

in music, "deaden the sound of," 1861, from mute (n.). Related: Muted; muting.

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mute (n.)

late 14c. (late 12c. as a surname), "person who does not speak" (from inability, unwillingness, etc.), from mute (adj.). From 1570s as "stage actor in a dumb show." The musical sense "device to deaden the resonance or tone of an instrument" is by 1811 of stringed instruments, 1841 of horns.

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muteness (n.)

"dumbness, forbearance from speaking or inability to speak," 1580s, from mute (adj.) + -ness.

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mutely (adv.)

"silently, without words or sounds," 1620s, from mute (adj.) + -ly (2).

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muted (adj.)

by 1840, in reference to musical instruments, past-participle adjective from mute (v.). Figuratively by 1879. Of colors by 1905. Related: mutedness.

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mutism (n.)
"state of being mute," 1824, from French mutisme (1741), from Latin mutus (see mute (adj.)).
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obmutescence (n.)

"a keeping silent, a becoming willfully mute or obstinately speechless," 1640s, from Late Latin obmutescere "to become dumb or mute," from ob "against, before," here perhaps intensive (see ob-) + mutescere "to grow dumb," an inchoative verb formed from mutus "silent, speechless, dumb" (see mute (adj.)).

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miosis (n.)

"contraction of the pupil of the eye," 1819, from Greek myein "to shut (the eyes)" + -osis. Greek myein is perhaps originally "to close the lips," from PIE *meue- "to be silent" (see mute (adj.)). Related: Miotic.

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myopia (n.)

"short-sightedness," 1727, medical Latin, from Late Greek myōpia "near-sightedness," from myōps "near-sighted," literally "closing the eyes, blinking," on the notion of "squinting, contracting the eyes" (as near-sighted people do), from myein "to shut" (see mute (adj.)) + ōps (genitive ōpos) "eye" (from PIE root *okw- "to see"). By coincidence the name describes the problem: the parallel rays of light are brought to a focus before they reach the retina.

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