lip service

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See also: lipservice


Alternative forms[edit]


1640s, compare earlier lip-labour.[1]


  • (file)


lip service (uncountable)

  1. (idiomatic) Promising but empty talk; words absent of real action or intention.
    The candidate gave lip service to fixing the problems, but it is doubtful that he will do much.
    • 1995, Alanis Morissette (lyrics and music), “Head over Feet”, in Jagged Little Pill:
      Your love is thick, and it swallowed me whole / You're so much braver than I gave you credit for / That's not lip service
    • 2020 November 11, John Eligon; Audra D. S. Burch, “Black Voters Helped Deliver Biden a Presidential Victory. Now What?”, in The New York Times[1], ISSN 0362-4331:
      “OK, let’s see if he’s really being honest about this,” Ms. Neloms, 42, who is Black, recalled thinking. “My prayer is that it’s not just lip service.”
  2. (slang, vulgar) Cunnilingus (sometimes also referred to as giving lip).
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:oral sex
    Jack gave Samantha lip service.


Related terms[edit]


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2022), “lip-service”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.