a speech defect consisting in pronouncing s and z like or nearly like the th-sounds of thin and this, respectively.
Phonetics. any unconventional articulation of the sibilants, as the pronunciation of s and z with the tongue between the teeth (lingual protrusion lisp), close to or touching the upper front teeth (dental lisp), or raised so that the breath is emitted laterally (lateral lisp).
the act, habit, or sound of lisping.

verb (used with or without object)

to pronounce or speak with a lisp.
to speak imperfectly, especially in a childish manner.

Origin of lisp

before 1100; Middle English wlispen, lipsen, Old English āwlyspian; akin to Dutch lisp(el)en, German lispeln, Norwegian leipsa
Related formslisp·er, nounlisp·ing·ly, adverbun·lisp·ing, adjective



noun Computers.

a high-level programming language that processes data in the form of lists: widely used in artificial intelligence applications.

Origin of LISP

lis(t) p(rocessing) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for lisp

sputter, stutter, mispronounce

Examples from the Web for lisp

Contemporary Examples of lisp

Historical Examples of lisp

  • Like Josephine's lisp, it is a defect that serves for a distinction.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • He78 has a lisp when he talks too, and that makes him seem cuter'n ever.


    Sewell Ford

  • She can aid it to lisp the first accents of its native tongue.

    The Young Maiden

    A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey

  • "There ith, too," she chuckled, her lisp getting the better of her.

  • We cannot, of course, convey the slightest idea of the infantine Eskimo lisp.

    Red Rooney

    R.M. Ballantyne

British Dictionary definitions for lisp



the articulation of s and z like or nearly like the th sounds in English thin and then respectively
the habit or speech defect of pronouncing s and z in this manner
the sound of a lisp in pronunciation


to use a lisp in the pronunciation of (speech)
to speak or pronounce imperfectly or haltingly
Derived Formslisper, nounlisping, adjective, nounlispingly, adverb

Word Origin for lisp

Old English āwlispian, from wlisp lisping (adj), of imitative origin; related to Old High German lispen



a high-level computer-programming language suitable for work in artificial intelligence

Word Origin for LISP

C20: from lis (t) p (rocessing)
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 lisp

late Old English awlyspian "to lisp," from wlisp (adj.) "lisping," probably of imitative origin (cf. Middle Dutch, Old High German lispen, Danish læspe, Swedish läspa). Related: Lisped; lisping.


1620s, from lisp (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

lisp in Medicine




A speech defect or mannerism characterized by mispronunciation of the sounds (s) and (z) as (th) and (th).


To speak with a lisp.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.