- a labium.
- the outer or the inner margin of the aperture of a gastropod's shell.
verb (used with object), lipped, lip·ping.
verb (used without object), lipped, lip·ping.
- to face misfortune bravely and resolutely: Throughout the crisis they kept a stiff upper lip.
- to suppress the display of any emotion.
Origin of lip
- 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
- (as modifier)lip salve
- to stifle one's feelings
- to be annoyed or irritated
verb lips, lipping or lipped
Word Origin for lip
c.1600, "to kiss," from lip (n.). Meaning "to pronounce with the lips only" is from 1789. Related: Lipped; lipping.
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.
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.
In addition to the idioms beginning with lip
- lips are sealed, one's
- lip service
- button up (one's lip)
- keep a stiff upper lip
- lick one's chops (lips)
- pass one's lips