dumb Definition

  • 1unable to speak
  • 2stupid or foolish
  • 3not able to be heard
  • 4temporarily unable to speak

Using dumb: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "dumb" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The boy was born dumb and could not speak.

  • Example

    It was a dumb idea to jump off the roof.

  • Example

    The TV was on but the sound was dumb.

  • Example

    He was struck dumb with fear.

dumb Synonyms and Antonyms

Idioms Using dumb

  • extremely stupid or unintelligent


    He may be good-looking, but he's dumb as a post.

  • strike dumb

    to render someone speechless, usually due to shock or surprise


    When she saw the car accident, she was struck dumb and couldn't say a word.

  • play dumb

    to pretend to be ignorant or unaware of something, usually to avoid responsibility or blame


    He played dumb when his boss asked him about the missing files.

Phrases with dumb

  • to make something simpler or less intellectually challenging, usually in order to make it more accessible to a wider audience


    The news channel has been accused of dumbing down its content to appeal to a younger audience.

  • success or good fortune that is the result of chance rather than skill or planning


    He won the lottery by dumb luck, he didn't even realize he had the winning ticket until a week later.

  • a silent performance, typically used in theater to convey a message or plot point without dialogue


    The actors performed a dumb show to illustrate the backstory of the characters.

Origins of dumb

from Old English 'dumb', meaning 'mute, speechless'


Summary: dumb in Brief

The term 'dumb' [dʌm] has several meanings. It can refer to being unable to speak, as in 'The boy was born dumb and could not speak.' It can also mean stupid or foolish, as in 'It was a dumb idea to jump off the roof.' Additionally, it can describe something that cannot be heard, as in 'The TV was on but the sound was dumb.' Finally, it can mean temporarily unable to speak, as in 'He was struck dumb with fear.'

How do native speakers use this expression?