dumb up

(dum UP)
v.
To make an item seem more highbrow by adding token cultural artifacts; to raise one's intellectual and cultural values.
Example Citation:
Like Kennedy's White House, Buckingham Palace could have been an intellectual and artistic salon of international distinction: instead of horse trainers and shotguns, instead of Royal Variety Shows, It's a Knockout, and Sir Cliff Richard, why not a salon of musicians and historians, poets and scientists, endowed Royal Scholars, Royal Fellows, Royal Professors? Elitist? Of course it is, but who begrudges an elite that inspires the rest of us to dumb up and join it?
— Richard Dawkins, "50 YEARS 50 VOICES: 1952-2002," The Independent, May 31, 2002
Earliest Citation:
Though the concept may seem ludicrous to some, TV has its classics too. One such prime-time paragon was Get Smart, the Mel Brooks/Buck Henry-created spy spoof from the '60s starring Don Adams as secret agent Maxwell Smart. Now, Fox has exhumed the show. "Revived" would be too positive a word to apply to this fiasco.
In this rehash, Max has risen to the office of chief of the espionage agency C.O.N.T.R.O.L. The chief's underling, his cracked operative, is Zach Smart (Andy Dick), his son with the former Agent 99 (Barbara Feldon redux).
Whereas Dad was a pompous blockhead, the younger Smart has a weak, ineffectual air. The sitcom — all slapstick and silly gadgetry — is demeaning to its returnees. . . . Fox hasn't done anyone a favor by dumbing up Get Smart.
— David Hiltbrand, "Picks and Pans," People, January 30, 1995
Related Words: Category:

New words. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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´ly — dumb «duhm», adjective, verb. –adj. 1. not able to speak: »dumb animals. Helen Keller learned to speak; she was blind and deaf but not dumb. 2. silenced for the moment by fear, surprise, shyness, or other emotion: »She was struck dumb with… …   Useful english dictionary

  • dumb — adj 1 Dumb, mute, speechless, inarticulate mean lacking the power to speak. Dumb and mute are often used interchangeably, but when used in distinction from each other, dumb implies an incapacity for speech (as in the case of animals and inanimate …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Dumb — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda «Dumb» Canción de Nirvana álbum In Utero Publicación 21 de septiembre de 1993 …   Wikipedia Español

  • dumb — dumb; dumb·found; dumb·found·er; dumb·ly; dumb·ness; dumb·found·ed·ly; …   English syllables

  • dumb — 1. Dumb now has such strong connotations of stupidity and low intelligence that its original meaning, ‘not able to speak’, is often regarded as offensive. To be safe, it is better to use neutral terms such as speech impaired. 2. The ailing… …   Modern English usage

  • dumb — dəm adj 1) lacking the human power of speech <dumb animals> 2) of a person often offensive lacking the ability to speak dumb·ly dəm lē adv dumb·ness n …   Medical dictionary

  • dumb — (adj.) O.E. dumb silent, unable to speak, from PIE *dheubh confusion, stupefaction, dizziness, from root *dheu (1) dust, mist, vapor, smoke, and related notions of defective perception or wits. The Old English, Old Saxon (dumb), Gothic (dumbs),… …   Etymology dictionary

  • dumb — ► ADJECTIVE 1) unable to speak; lacking the power of speech. 2) temporarily unable or unwilling to speak. 3) informal, chiefly N. Amer. stupid. 4) (of a computer terminal) having no independent processing capability. ► VERB 1) (dumb down) N …   English terms dictionary

  • Dumb — Dumb, v. t. To put to silence. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dumb — [adj1] unable to speak at a loss for words*, inarticulate, incoherent, mousy*, mum, mute, quiet, silent, soundless, speechless, tongue tied, uncommunicative, voiceless, wordless; concept 593 Ant. speaking dumb [adj2] stupid, unintelligent dense,… …   New thesaurus

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