From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

1: Φιμόω (Strong'S #5392 — Verb — phimoo — fee-mo'-o )

"to close the mouth with a muzzle" (phimos), is used (a) of "muzzling" the ox when it treads out the corn,  1—Corinthians 9:9 , AV, "muzzle the mouth of," RV, "muzzle," and  1—Timothy 5:18 , with the lesson that those upon whom spiritual labor is bestowed should not refrain from ministering to the material needs of those who labor on their behalf; (b) metaphorically, of putting to silence, or subduing to stillness,  Matthew 22:12,34;  Mark 1:25;  4:39;  Luke 4:35;  1—Peter 2:15 . See Peace (hold), Silence.

Webster's Dictionary [2]

(1): ( v. i.) To bring the mouth or muzzle near.

(2): ( v. i.) The mouth of a thing; the end for entrance or discharge; as, the muzzle of a gun.

(3): ( v. i.) A fastening or covering (as a band or cage) for the mouth of an animal, to prevent eating or vicious biting.

(4): ( v. t.) To bind the mouth of; to fasten the mouth of, so as to prevent biting or eating; hence, figuratively, to bind; to sheathe; to restrain from speech or action.

(5): ( v. t.) To fondle with the closed mouth.

(6): ( v. i.) The projecting mouth and nose of a quadruped, as of a horse; a snout.

King James Dictionary [3]


1. The mouth of a thing the extreme or end for entrance or discharge applied chiefly to the end of a tube, as the open end of a common fusee or pistol,or of a bellows. 2. A fastening for the mouth which hinders from biting.

With golden muzzles all their mouths were bound.

MUZ'ZLE, To bind the mouth to fasten the mouth to prevent biting or eating.

Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.  Deuteronomy 25

1. To fondle with the mouth close. Low. 2. To restrain from hurt.

My dagger muzzled--

MUZ'ZLE, To bring the mouth near.

The bear muzzles and smells to him.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [4]

 Deuteronomy 25:4 (a) This word has two meanings. The first is that we are to know that the servant of GOD, which is represented by the ox, should be free to tell the story of GOD's grace in his own way, and not be hindered by any rules or regulations of men. It also means that the servant of GOD is entitled to receive the benefits in a material way of his ministry. He should be given remuneration for his work. He is entitled to receive the food, the clothing and the other necessities of life because of his ministry. (See also1Co  9:9;  1 Timothy 5:18).

Holman Bible Dictionary [5]

 Deuteronomy 25:4  1 Corinthians 9:9-14 1 Timothy 5:17-18

Easton's Bible Dictionary [6]

 Deuteronomy 25:4Agriculture

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [7]

See Threshing .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [8]

( חָסִם , Chasam', to Step the nostrils, as in  Ezekiel 39:11). In the East grain is usually thrashed by sheaves being spread out quite thick on a level spot, over which oxen, cows, and younger cattle are driven, till by continued treading they press out the grain. One of the injunctions of the Mosaic code is, "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn" ( Deuteronomy 25:4). From the monuments we learn that the ancient Egyptians likewise suffered the ox to tread out the corn unmuzzled. "The origin of this benevolent law," says Michaelis, "with regard to beasts, is seemingly deducible from certain moral feelings or sentiments prevalent among the people of the early ages. They thought it hard that a person should be employed in the collection of edible and savory things, and have them continually before his eyes, without being permitted once to taste them; and there is in fact a degree of cruelty in placing a person in such a situation; for the sight of such dainties is tormenting, and the desire to partake of them increases with the risk of the prohibition. Add to this that, by prohibitions of this nature, the moral character of servants and day- laborers, to the certain injury of their masters' interests, seldom fails to become corrupted, for the provocation of appetite at the sight of forbidden gratification will, with the greater number, undoubtedly overpower all moral suggestions as to right or wrong. They will learn to help themselves without leave. Therefore when Moses, in the terms of this benevolent custom, ordained that the ox was not to be muzzled while thrashing, it would seem that it was not merely his intention to provide for the welfare of that animal, but to enjoin with the greater force and effect that a similar right should be allowed to human laborers. He specified the ox as the lowest example, and what held good in reference to him was to be considered as so much the more obligatory in reference to man." Comp.  Hosea 10:11;  1 Corinthians 9:9-11;  1 Timothy 5:18. This ancient Mosaic law, allowing the ox, as long as he is employed in thrashing, to eat both the grain and the straw, is still observed in the East. Prof. Robinson, when at Jericho, in 1838, observed the process of thrashing by oxen, cows, and younger cattle. He says, "The precept of Moses, 'Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn,' was not very well regarded by our Christian friends; many of their animals having their mouths tied up; while among the Mohammedans I do not remember ever to have seen an animal muzzled. This precept serves to show that of old, as well as at the present day, only neat cattle were usually employed to tread out the grain." (See Threshing).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [9]

muz´'l ( חסם , ḥāṣam  ; φιμόω , phimóō ): According to the Deuteronomic injunction   Deuteronomy 25:4 , the ox was not to be muzzled while treading the grain, i.e. threshing. The muzzle was a guard placed on the mouth of the oxen to prevent them from biting or eating. The threshing ox would have ample opportunity of feeding (compare   Hosea 10:11 ). The Deuteronomic injunction is quite in accordance with the humane spirit which inspires it all through. Paul quotes this law in two places  1 Corinthians 9:9;  1 Timothy 5:18 to illustrate his view that the "laborer is worthy of his hire."