muf·fle 1 (mŭfəl)
tr.v. muf·fled, muf·fling, muf·fles
1. To wrap up, as in a blanket or shawl, for warmth, protection, or secrecy.
a. To wrap or pad in order to deaden the sound: muffled the drums.
b. To deaden (a sound): The sand muffled the hoofbeats.
3. To make vague or obscure: "His message was so muffled by learning and 'artiness'" (Walter Blair).
4. To repress; stifle.
1. Something that muffles.
2. A kiln or part of a kiln in which pottery can be fired without being exposed to direct flame.
[Middle English muflen, possibly from Old French mofler, to stuff, from mofle, glove; see MUFF2.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.