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mutter (something) under (one's) breath

To murmur something in such a soft, quiet voice that others cannot hear it distinctly. (Said especially of rude, unpleasant, complaining, or impertinent remarks.) I could hear Bill muttering something under his breath on the way back to his desk after his annual review. Don't you dare mutter curse words under your breath at me, young lady!
See also: breath, mutter

mutter about (someone or something)

1. To speak or utter something about someone or something in a very low, indistinct tone. Oh, don't mind me, I'm just muttering to myself about what's the fastest way to get home from here. I could hear the kids muttering something about a plan to cut school that day, but I couldn't make out the details of it.
2. To murmur, whisper, or grumble in an angry, disgruntled manner about someone or something. We all left the meeting muttering about the additional hours we'd have to work, but, in the end, what choice did we have? Instead of just muttering about the boss like you always do, why don't you register a complaint with HR?
See also: mutter
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

mutter about someone or something

to grumble or complain about someone or something. Are you muttering about me? What is your complaint? Why is everyone muttering about the food here? It is excellent.
See also: mutter

mutter something about someone or something

to say something softly and indistinctly about someone or something. I heard him mutter something about being late. Sharon is muttering something about Dave. What does she mean?
See also: mutter

*under one's breath

Fig. [spoken] so softly that almost no one can hear it. (*Typically: curse ~; curse some-one or something ~; mutter ~; mutter something ~; say something ~.) John was muttering something under his breath, and I don't think it was very pleasant. I'm glad he said it under his breath. If he had said it out loud, it would have caused an argument.
See also: breath
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Grammy Award-winning violinist Mutter, 55, said: "This distinction fills me with pride and joy, as you are permitting me to join the ranks of the wonderful musicians who have previously received the prize.
Field Of Stone is The Mutter Slatter Band's latest album.
In Book of Mutter, there is no external satirist-narrator to celebrate the destruction of her characters--only Kate Zambreno herself, engaged in a fragmented act of mourning.
Josef Spacek does not possess a tone as magically colourful as that of Mutter and Fischer.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania's medical college, Mutter was a brilliant and inventive teacher who introduced Socratic methods into his lectures, unusual for his time.
CBSO / Anne-Sophie Mutter Plays Dvorak Symphony Hall For some it was the prospect of hearing Andris Nelsons' version of the Rite of Spring (which so wowed Thursday's audience) although I suspect the presence of soloist Anne-Sophie Mutter was chiefly responsible for Saturday's full house.
Was it the superb performance of Dvorak's Violin Concerto by the poised and passionate virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter? Or the pulsating delivery of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring; brooding, threatening and totally riveting.
With Sofia Gubaidulina, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Gidon Kremer.
Marilyn Mutter is one of the first to sign up with her daughter Melanie "We are calling on people to get behind Newcastle Hospice and sign up for this adventure."
John Mutter of Johnstown, Ohio, is a paraplegic who has used a wheelchair to get around ever since a severe car crash over a year ago cost him the use of his legs.
Michael Mutter, director of patient safety, reviewed reports and realized "there was no analysis of the reports, just numbers." This event became one of the hospital's turning points.
Alan Mutter makes some excellent points about the challenge of shaping new products, e.g., iPad-friendly materials ("Newsosaur," February 2012).
"It's quite common in this area of Germany to have this kind of dump, then put a sort of landmark on it," says artist Heike Mutter, who together with partner Ulrich Genth conceived of the installation, "Tiger and Turtle--Magic Mountain." A walkable sculpture commissioned by the local government as part of a program to reactivate old industrial districts, the structure's steel-and-zinc frame references the foundry that once stood there, Its title, however, is a bit more obscure.
Concern has been expressed about the accuracy of the following statement provided by Mutter, Ande, and Hugo (2010): "Pastoral counselors generally have less training in counseling psychology than professional therapists" (p.