mutter

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Related to muttering: grumbly

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
As for the muttering, I'm partly doing the Mr Angry thing when I find an area of desecration and talking my way through what I'd like to do to the morons who damage this little oasis of nature.
The wily old campaigner Clarke has been in the bear pit of Westminster politics for long enough to know how pathetic the "muttering idiot" jibe would look in the wider world.
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Tony Oursler's installation Below, 1996, is less like an oddball discovery from another world than an object inhabited by a potentially malevolent spirit, in this case a muttering head (projected, like most of Oursler's works, onto a sphere that both gives the head body and distorts it).
Then the cops shamble off to their squad cars muttering to each other about the animals they must spend their days and nights uselessly herding about and lecturing.
The scientists concluded that muttering "keys, keys, keys" while looking for them could in fact help people find them.
He smacked his lips before muttering, "My, you are a perceptive reader." McKenzie believed that knowledge of the Bible and the celebration of the Eucharist were worth far more to the Christian life than the stories of Fatima.
Then when it breaks out again in Italy, Spain and other big countries with voting power, they can get back to walking away whistling and muttering "don't blame us".
In one circle of hell, Pope Boniface VIII and two recent Cardinals (Law and O'Connor) drool and and writhe, muttering perversions worthy of Sade as they wander among the bodies of some young new arrivals, preparing to molest their souls.
In Clara Andermatt's O Cansago dos Santos ("The Weariness of Saints") - a highly charged duet set in the aftermath of a drunken party - these images surface in much muttering and signing of the Cross.
The audio to two pieces, JLG/JLG--autoportrait de decembre (1994) and Le Gai Savoir (1968), filled the space with an ambient muttering and underlined the difference between a film series and an art piece.
The six-times Major winner kicked the ball off the green and spent most of the round muttering to himself as his putting woes continued in a tournament he is overwhelming favourite to win.
In fact, he may even have been muttering to himself, thinking that Healy had added another run to England's survival target.
Despite mutterings that this would be a big departure for the band, this is more of the same that made their name in the first place.