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1. To enlist oneself in the military. All the young men my age were mustering in to fight the war, but I had to remain behind because of my crippled leg.
2. To enlist someone else in the military. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "muster" and "in." The sergeant went to high schools around the country trying to muster in young men and women. They threatened to muster Daniel in if he didn't improve his grades and clean up his act.
1. To leave or resign from the military. My father served in the Marines for twenty years before mustering out in 1993.
2. To discharge someone from the military. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "muster" and "out." He sued the Navy after he was mustered out in the late 80's for his sexual orientation. They threatened to muster him out if he revealed the information to the public.
To summon, gather, or cobble something together. Said especially of intangible qualities, such as courage, determination, etc. Eventually I mustered up the courage to go over and ask him for his phone number. Despite outperforming the other team for most of the game, they were only able to muster up a single goal. Can you muster the strength up to walk back to camp, or should I go for help?
To be accepted as adequate; to meet the minimum or standard requirement. I gave the interview my best, but I guess I didn't pass muster. There are so many typos and structural problems—there's no way this report will pass muster with the boss.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
muster out of something
to be discharged from military service. He mustered out of the service before his time was up. I want to know how I can muster out too.
muster something up
to call up some quality, such as courage. Do you think you can muster enough courage up to do the job? Can you muster up enough strength to do the job?
Fig. to measure up to the required standards. I tried, but my efforts didn't pass muster. If you don't wear a jacket and tie, you won't pass muster at that fancy restaurant. They won't let you in.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Enlist in military service. For example, They were mustered in at Fort Dix. The antonym is muster out, meaning "to leave or be discharged from military service," as in He was mustered out and given a dishonorable discharge. [First half of 1800s]
Meet a required standard, as in That yard cleanup won't pass muster with Mom. This expression originally meant "to undergo a military review without censure," muster referring to an assembling of troops for inspection or a similar purpose. [Late 1500s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
COMMON If someone or something passes muster, they are of a satisfactory standard for a particular purpose or job. He spoke French and Spanish and could just about pass muster in Italian. It is the only country that has yet to fulfill all the membership requirements, but it is expected to pass muster soon. Note: In the army and navy, a `muster' is an inspection of the soldiers' or sailors' uniforms and equipment.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
pass musterbe accepted as adequate or satisfactory.
This was originally a military expression, meaning ‘come through a review or inspection without censure’. It is found earlier (late 16th century to late 17th century) in the now obsolete form pass (the ) musters and has been in figurative use since the late 16th century.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
pass ˈmusterbe good enough; be acceptable: I didn’t think Charlie’s parents would like me, but evidently I pass muster. Muster is the calling together of soldiers, sailors, etc. for inspection. If you pass muster, you pass the inspection without criticism.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To enlist someone in military service. Used chiefly in the passive: Once the men were mustered in, they got their heads shaved.
2. To enlist in military service: In the US, you can't officially muster in until you're 18 years old.
1. To discharge someone from military service. Used chiefly in the passive: The last of the soldiers who fought in that battle were mustered out last week.
2. To be discharged from military service: I mustered out last month, and I'm proud that I had the chance to serve my country.
To gather up some force of will to do something: I couldn't muster up the courage to tell them about my terrible mistake. Although the team lost, they mustered some good cheer up and went to the party.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To be judged as acceptable.
To pass an examination or inspection; measure up to a given standard.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
pass muster, to
To meet a required standard. This term originated in the military and once meant to undergo review without censure. George Gascoigne used it figuratively in 1575: “The latter verse is neither true nor pleasant, and the first verse may pass the musters” (The Making of Verse). It was a cliché by the time Jonathan Swift included it in Polite Conversation (1738), and it remains current.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer