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1. The forward, projecting part of the head of certain animals, such as dogs, including the mouth, nose, and jaws; the snout.
2. A device that is fitted over an animal's snout, often used to prevent biting or eating.
3. The forward, discharging end of the barrel of a firearm.
4. A restraint on free movement or expression: had a muzzle put on their high spirits.
tr.v. muz·zled, muz·zling, muz·zles
1. To put a muzzle on (an animal).
2. To restrain from expression: tried to muzzle the opposition.
[Middle English mosel, from Old French musel, from Medieval Latin mūsellum, diminutive of mūsus, snout, from Latin mūsum.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.