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See also: Lisp and LISP


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From Middle English lispen, lipsen, wlispen, from Old English *wlispian (attested in āwlyspian (to lisp)), from Old English wlisp, wlips (stammering, lisping, adj), from Proto-Germanic *wlispaz (lisping), from Proto-Indo-European *wlis-, *wleys- (rod), from *wel- (to turn, roll). Cognate with Middle Low German wlispen (to lisp), Dutch lispen (to lisp), German lispeln (to lisp), Danish læspe (to lisp), Swedish läspa (to lisp).


  • Standard: IPA(key): /lɪsp/
    • (file)
  • Humorous:
    1. IPA(key): /lɪθp/
    2. IPA(key): /lɪl͡sp/
  • Rhymes: -ɪsp


lisp (plural lisps)

  1. The habit or an act of lisping.
    He used to have a terrible lisp before going to a speech therapist.
    It's common for children to speak with a lisp.

Derived terms[edit]



lisp (third-person singular simple present lisps, present participle lisping, simple past and past participle lisped)

  1. To pronounce the consonant ‘s’ imperfectly; to give ‘s’ and ‘z’ the sounds of ‘th’ (/θ/, /ð/). This is a speech impediment common among children.
    Until the age of 10, Dominic would lisp, but this was fixed by a speech therapist.
  2. To speak with imperfect articulation; to mispronounce, such as a child learning to talk.
  3. (archaic) To speak hesitatingly and with a low voice, as if afraid.
  4. (archaic) to express by the use of simple, childlike language.
    • 1848, Henry Walter (editor) William Tyndale (originally author), Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scriptures
      to speak unto them after their own capacity, and to lisp the words unto them , according as the babes and children of that age might sound them againagain
    • 1830, Mary Russell Mitford, Our Village: Fourth Series: Cottage Names:
      But the fashion spreads deeper and wider; the village is infected and the village green; Amelias and Claras sweep your rooms and cook your dinners, gentle Sophias milk your cows, and if you ask a pretty smiling girl at a cottage door to tell you her name, the rosy lips lisp out Caroline.
  5. (archaic) To speak with reserve or concealment; to utter timidly or confidentially.
    to lisp treason
    • 1859, Ferna Vale, Natalie; or, A Gem Among the Sea-Weeds
      "You have done well, sir," said Delwood, calmly, as he placed double the amount of Mrs. Santon's bribe in the Signor's hand; "you have done well, sir; and mark my words,—gold can never relieve a guilty conscience! Go, sir, and see that you lisp not a syllable of this to any one."

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