Meaning of “utter” in the English Dictionary

"utter" in British English

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utterverb [ T ]

uk /ˈʌt.ər/ us /ˈʌ.t̬ɚ/ formal

utteradjective [ before noun ]

uk /ˈʌt.ər/ us /ˈʌ.t̬ɚ/

C2 complete or extreme:

The meeting was a complete and utter waste of time.
Lying back in the hot bath was utter bliss.

More examples

  • I made a complete and utter mess of it!
  • a feeling of utter desolation
  • The accusations are utter nonsense.
  • As he walked through the door, she stared at him in utter bewilderment.
  • She had a look of utter devastation on her face.
adverb uk /ˈʌt.əl.i/ us /ˈʌ.t̬ɚ.li/


  • She was utterly devastated when her husband died.
  • The two boys walked into the room looking utterly miserable.
  • These accounts are utterly incomprehensible. Can you explain them to me?
  • I don't know why he gets so upset about something that is utterly trivial.
  • The whole situation was utterly ridiculous.


What an utterly stupid thing to do!

(Definition of “utter” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"utter" in American English

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utteradjective [ not gradable ]

us /ˈʌt̬·ər/

utter adjective [ not gradable ] (COMPLETE)

complete or extreme:

What an utter fool I was!
adverb us /ˈʌt̬·ər·li/

She felt isolated and utterly alone.

utterverb [ T ]

us /ˈʌt̬·ər/

utter verb [ T ] (SAY)

to say something or make a sound with your voice:

She sat through the entire meeting and didn’t utter a word.
noun [ C ] us /ˈʌt̬·ər·əns/


We hope their utterances will be matched by their actions.

(Definition of “utter” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)