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adjective close-lipped, closemouthed, dumb, hushed, inarticulate, incapable of speech, incommunicative, indisposed to talk, noiseless, pauciloquent, quiet, refraining from utterance, reserved, reticent, silent, soundless, speechless, still, taciturn, tight-lipped, tongue-tied, unable to speak, unable to utter articulate sound, uncommunicative, unexpressive, unloquacious, untalkative, unvocal, unvocalizing, voiceless, wordless
See also: inarticulate, moderate, repress, speechless, stifle, subdue, taciturn, unresponsive


a person arraigned on indictment who refuses to answer a charge.

MUTE, persons. One who is dumb. Vide Deaf and Dumb.

MUTE, STANDING MUTE, practice, crim. law. When a prisoner upon his arraignment totally refuses to answer, insists upon mere frivolous pretences, or refuses to put himself upon the country, after pleading not guilty, he is said to stand mute.
     2. In the case of the United States v. Hare, et al., Circuit Court, Maryland Dist. May sess. 1818, the prisoner standing mute was considered as if he had pleaded not guilty.
     3. The act of congress of March 3, 1825, 3 Story's L. U. S. 2002, has since provided as follows; Sec. 14, That if any person, upon his or her arraignment upon any indictment before any court of the United States for any offence, not capital, shall stand mute, or will not answer or plead to such indictment, the court shall, notwithstanding, proceed to the trial of the person, so standing mute, or refusing to answer or pleas, as if he or she had pleaded not guilty; and upon a verdict being returned by the jury, may proceed to render judgment accordingly. A similar provision is to be found in the laws of Pennsylvania.
     4. The barbarous punishment of peine forte et dure which till lately disgraced the criminal code of England, was never known in the United States. Vide Dumb; 15 Vin. Ab. 527.
     5. When a prisoner stands mute, the laws of England arrive at the forced conclusion that he is guilty, and punish him accordingly. 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 428.
     6. By the old French law, when a person accused was mute, or stood mute, it was the duty of the judge to appoint him a curator, whose duty it was to defend him, in the best manner he could; and for this purpose, he was allowed to communicate with him privately. Poth. Proced. Crim. s. 4, art. 2, Sec. 1.

References in periodicals archive ?
Ulnar loops are common than radial loops in deaf mutes.
14, 1987, B3; "Religion: For Deaf Mutes," Time, Mar.
In India, about 100 children are born deaf every day, which may be potential deaf mutes.
Just as Joe begins to let his emotional guard down, even falling in love with deaf mute pharmacist Fon (Charlie Young), the hit man discovers Surat intends to double-cross him.
While Kong falls under the spell of exotic dancer Aom (Panward Hemmanee), Joe's heart is unexpectedly stolen by deaf mute pharmacist Fon (Charlie Young), leaving the assassin dangerously exposed.
Care in the Community patient Daniel Joseph, 18, a deaf mute, has been sent to a secure psychiatric unit.
The 38-year-old deaf mute was badly burned and police are probing the incident at Lennox Castle Hospital, near Glasgow.
1969), during which he quarreled constantly with star Barbra Streisand; the romantic comedies "The Tunnel of Love" (1958) and "A Guide for the Married Man" (1967); and the sentimental drama "Gigot" (1962) with Jackie Gleason as a deaf mute.
A hospital worker has been suspended over claims that she threw a scalding cup of tea over a deaf mute patient.
And if that doesn't compromise him enough, he then falls in love with Fon (Charlie Yeung), a deaf mute pharmacist, whom he manages to successfully woo despite his questionable day job.
A man was about to tee off whenhe felt a tap on his shoulder and a stranger handed him a card that read: 'I am a deaf mute.
MARIA BARTOCCINI has been sent a pounds 70 fine for talking on her mobile while driving but she is a deaf mute.

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