bite one's lip
- (idiomatic) To forcibly prevent oneself from speaking, especially in order to avoid saying something inappropriate or likely to cause a dispute.
1822, [Walter Scott], chapter XIII, in Peveril of the Peak. [...] In Four Volumes, volume IV, Edinburgh: Printed for Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co., OCLC 2392685, page 304:
- Buckingham bit his lip, for he saw the introduction of Lady Derby was likely to confuse and embroil every preparation which he had arranged for his defence; […]
- 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald, "May Day" in Tales of the Jazz Age:
- He broke off and bit his lip, feeling that he had better subdue the rising anger in his voice.