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2017 Word of the Year

tongue-tied

[tuhng-tahyd] /ˈtʌŋˌtaɪd/
adjective
1.
unable to speak, as from shyness, embarrassment, or surprise.
2.
affected with tongue-tie.
Origin of tongue-tied
1520-1530
1520-30; tongue + tied

tongue-tie

[tuhng-tahy] /ˈtʌŋˌtaɪ/
noun
1.
impeded motion of the tongue caused especially by shortness of the frenum, which binds it to the floor of the mouth.
verb (used with object), tongue-tied, tongue-tying.
2.
to make tongue-tied.
Origin
First recorded in 1545-55; back formation from tongue-tied
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for tongue-tied
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The certainty that she knew what they had tried so hard to conceal kept them tongue-tied.

    Mary-'Gusta Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Other considerations occurring to his prudence had kept him tongue-tied from day to day.

    End of the Tether Joseph Conrad
  • A woman is tongue-tied by the countless conventionalities of education.

    Young Mr. Barter's Repentance David Christie Murray
  • It, however, checked her advances, and for some time held her tongue-tied.

    The Pioneers James Fenimore Cooper
  • I expected on the whole to see him tongue-tied, especially before Dolly and Dilly.

    The Right Stuff Ian Hay
  • The assurance that I had gained at Court forsook me, and I was tongue-tied as any calf-lover.

    Simon Dale

    Anthony Hope
  • You can talk about anything else; you are tongue-tied about your religion.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture

    Alexander Maclaren
  • She stood like one speechless, tongue-tied, as if in a dream.

    Curious, if True Elizabeth Gaskell
British Dictionary definitions for tongue-tied

tongue-tied

adjective
1.
speechless, esp with embarrassment or shyness
2.
having a condition of tongue-tie

tongue-tie

noun
1.
a congenital condition in which the tongue has restricted mobility as the result of an abnormally short frenulum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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tongue-tied in Medicine

tongue-tie n.
Restricted mobility of the tongue resulting from abnormal shortness of the frenum. Also called ankyloglossia.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word Value for tongue

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