Idioms

    bite one's lip/tongue, to repress one's anger or other emotions: He wanted to return the insult, but bit his lip.
    button one's lip, Slang. to keep silent, especially, to refrain from revealing information: They told him to button his lip if he didn't want trouble.Also button up.
    hang on the lips of, to listen to very attentively: The members of the club hung on the lips of the visiting lecturer.
    keep a stiff upper lip,
    1. to face misfortune bravely and resolutely: Throughout the crisis they kept a stiff upper lip.
    2. to suppress the display of any emotion.
    smack one's lips, to indicate one's keen enjoyment or pleasurable anticipation of: We smacked our lips over the delicious meal.

Origin of lip

before 1000; Middle English lip(pe), Old English lippa; cognate with Dutch lip, German Lippe; akin to Norwegian lepe, Latin labium
Related formslip·less, adjectivelip·like, adjectiveout·lip, verb (used with object), out·lipped, out·lip·ping.un·der·lip, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for bite one's tongue

lip

noun

anatomy
  1. either of the two fleshy folds surrounding the mouth, playing an important role in the production of speech sounds, retaining food in the mouth, etcRelated adjective: labial
  2. (as modifier)lip salve
the corresponding part in animals, esp mammals
any structure resembling a lip, such as the rim of a crater, the margin of a gastropod shell, etc
a nontechnical word for labium, labellum (def. 1)
slang impudent talk or backchat
the embouchure and control in the lips needed to blow wind and brass instruments
bite one's lip
  1. to stifle one's feelings
  2. to be annoyed or irritated
button one's lip or button up one's lip slang to stop talking: often imperative
keep a stiff upper lip to maintain one's courage or composure during a time of trouble without giving way to or revealing one's emotions
lick one's lips or smack one's lips to anticipate or recall something with glee or relish

verb lips, lipping or lipped

(tr) to touch with the lip or lips
(tr) to form or be a lip or lips for
(tr) rare to murmur or whisper
(intr) to use the lips in playing a wind instrument
See also lip out
Derived Formslipless, adjectiveliplike, adjective

Word Origin for lip

Old English lippa; related to Old High German leffur, Norwegian lepe, Latin labium
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

Word Origin and History for bite one's tongue

lip

v.

c.1600, "to kiss," from lip (n.). Meaning "to pronounce with the lips only" is from 1789. Related: Lipped; lipping.

lip

n.

Old English lippa, from Proto-Germanic *lepjon (cf. Old Frisian lippa, Middle Dutch lippe, Dutch lip, Old High German lefs, German Lefze, Swedish läpp, Danish læbe), from PIE *leb- "to lick; lip" (cf. Latin labium).

French lippe is from a Germanic source. Transferred sense of "edge or margin of a cup, etc." is from 1590s. Slang sense "saucy talk" is from 1821, probably from move the lip (1570s) "utter even the slightest word (against someone)." To bite (one's) lip "show vexation" is from early 14c. Stiff upper lip as a sign of courage is from 1833. Lip gloss is attested from 1939; lip balm from 1877. Related: Lips.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

bite one's tongue in Medicine

lip

[lĭp]

n.

Either of two fleshy folds that surround the opening of the mouth.
A liplike structure bounding or encircling a bodily cavity or groove.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with bite one's tongue

bite one's tongue

Refrain from speaking out, as in A new grandmother must learn to bite her tongue so as not to give unwanted advice, or I'm sure it'll rain during graduation.—Bite your tongue! This term alludes to holding the tongue between the teeth in an effort not to say something one might regret. Shakespeare used it in 2 Henry VI (1:1): “So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue.” Today it is sometimes used as a humorous imperative, as in the second example, with the implication that speaking might bring bad luck. [Late 1500s] Also see hold one's tongue.

lip

In addition to the idioms beginning with lip

  • lips are sealed, one's
  • lip service

also see:

  • button up (one's lip)
  • keep a stiff upper lip
  • lick one's chops (lips)
  • pass one's lips
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.