Dumb cane
Dumb Dumb, a. [AS. dumb; akin to D. dom stupid, dumb, Sw. dumb, Goth. dumbs; cf. Gr. ? blind. See {Deaf}, and cf. {Dummy}.] 1. Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter articulate sounds; as, the dumb brutes. [1913 Webster]

To unloose the very tongues even of dumb creatures. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

2. Not willing to speak; mute; silent; not speaking; not accompanied by words; as, dumb show. [1913 Webster]

This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

To pierce into the dumb past. -- J. C. Shairp. [1913 Webster]

3. Lacking brightness or clearness, as a color. [R.] [1913 Webster]

Her stern was painted of a dumb white or dun color. --De Foe. [1913 Webster]

{Deaf and dumb}. See {Deaf-mute}.

{Dumb ague}, or {Dumb chill}, a form of intermittent fever which has no well-defined ``chill.'' [U.S.]

{Dumb animal}, any animal except man; -- usually restricted to a domestic quadruped; -- so called in contradistinction to man, who is a ``speaking animal.''

{Dumb cake}, a cake made in silence by girls on St. Mark's eve, with certain mystic ceremonies, to discover their future husbands. --Halliwell.

{Dumb cane} (Bot.), a west Indian plant of the Arum family ({Dieffenbachia seguina}), which, when chewed, causes the tongue to swell, and destroys temporarily the power of speech.

{Dumb crambo}. See under {crambo}.

{Dumb show}. (a) Formerly, a part of a dramatic representation, shown in pantomime. ``Inexplicable dumb shows and noise.'' --Shak. (b) Signs and gestures without words; as, to tell a story in dumb show.

{To strike dumb}, to confound; to astonish; to render silent by astonishment; or, it may be, to deprive of the power of speech.

Syn: Silent; speechless; noiseless. See {Mute}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dumb-cane — dumbˈ cane noun A tropical American araceous plant (Dieffenbachia seguine) whose juice contains crystals of calcium oxalate which cause swelling of the tongue • • • Main Entry: ↑dumb …   Useful english dictionary

  • dumb cane — dumb′ cane n. pln a West Indian foliage plant, Dieffenbachia seguine, having yellow blotched leaves that cause temporary speechlessness when chewed • Etymology: 1690–1700 …   From formal English to slang

  • dumb cane — a West Indian foliage plant, Dieffenbachia seguine, of the arum family, having yellow blotched leaves that cause temporary speechlessness when chewed. Also called mother in law plant. [1690 1700] * * * ▪ plant       any of about 30 species of… …   Universalium

  • dumb cane — dėmėtoji difenbachija statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Aroninių šeimos dekoratyvinis, vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Dieffenbachia seguine), paplitęs Pietų Amerikoje. atitikmenys: lot. Dieffenbachia seguine angl. dumb cane; dumbplant; mother… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • dumb cane — noun Etymology: from the fact that chewing it causes the tongue and throat to swell Date: 1696 dieffenbachia …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • dumb cane — noun A member of the family Dieffenbachia …   Wiktionary

  • dumb cane — noun a thick stemmed Caribbean plant with a poisonous sap that swells the tongue and destroys the power of speech. [Dieffenbachia seguine.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • dumb cane — noun an evergreen plant with large showy dark green leaves; contains a poison that swells the tongue and throat hence the name • Syn: ↑mother in law plant, ↑mother in law s tongue, ↑Dieffenbachia sequine • Hypernyms: ↑arum, ↑aroid • …   Useful english dictionary

  • Dumb — Dumb, a. [AS. dumb; akin to D. dom stupid, dumb, Sw. dumb, Goth. dumbs; cf. Gr. ? blind. See {Deaf}, and cf. {Dummy}.] 1. Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter articulate sounds; as, the dumb brutes. [1913 Webster] To unloose the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Dumb ague — Dumb Dumb, a. [AS. dumb; akin to D. dom stupid, dumb, Sw. dumb, Goth. dumbs; cf. Gr. ? blind. See {Deaf}, and cf. {Dummy}.] 1. Destitute of the power of speech; unable; to utter articulate sounds; as, the dumb brutes. [1913 Webster] To unloose… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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