adjective SYNONYMY NOTE: voiceless is applied to one who has no voice, either from birth or through deprivation [the throat operation left him voiceless]; speechless usually implies temporary or momentary deprivation of the ability to speak [speechless with horror]; dumb implies a lack of the power of speech and is now more often applied to brute animals
and inanimate objects than to persons with impaired speech organs [a dumb beast]; mute is applied to persons incapable of speech, specif. as because of congenital deafness
and not through absence or impairment of the speech organs 1.
having no voice; dumb
said of certain consonants, as (p), (s), and (ch)
Webster’s New World College Dictionary, 4th Edition. Copyright © 2010 by
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.