Advertisement

murmur (n.)

late 14c., "expression of (popular) discontent or complaint by grumbling," from Old French murmure "murmur, sound of human voices; trouble, argument" (12c.), noun of action from murmurer "to murmur," from Latin murmurare "to murmur, mutter," from murmur (n.) "a hum, muttering, rushing," probably from a PIE reduplicative base *mor-mor, of imitative origin (source also of Sanskrit murmurah "crackling fire," Greek mormyrein "to roar, boil," Lithuanian murmlenti "to murmur").

Meaning "a low sound continuously repeated" (of bees, streams, etc.) is by c. 1400. That of "softly spoken words" is from 1670s. Medical sense of "sound heard in ascultation" is by 1824.

murmur (v.)

late 14c., "make a low continuous noise; grumble, complain," from Old French murmurer "murmur, grouse, grumble" (12c.), from murmur "rumbling noise" (see murmur (n.)). Transitive sense of "say indistinctly" is from 1530s. Related: Murmured; murmuring.

Others are reading

Advertisement
Definitions of murmur from WordNet
1
murmur (n.)
a low continuous indistinct sound; often accompanied by movement of the lips without the production of articulate speech;
Synonyms: mutter / muttering / murmuring / murmuration / mussitation
murmur (n.)
a schwa that is incidental to the pronunciation of a consonant;
Synonyms: murmur vowel
murmur (n.)
an abnormal sound of the heart; sometimes a sign of abnormal function of the heart valves;
Synonyms: heart murmur / cardiac murmur
murmur (n.)
a complaint uttered in a low and indistinct tone;
Synonyms: grumble / grumbling / murmuring / mutter / muttering
2
murmur (v.)
speak softly or indistinctly;
She murmured softly to the baby in her arms
murmur (v.)
make complaining remarks or noises under one's breath;
Synonyms: mutter / grumble / croak / gnarl
From wordnet.princeton.edu