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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for lisped

sputter, stutter, mispronounce

Examples from the Web for lisped

Historical Examples of lisped

  • "A celebrated German writer," lisped the modest Miss Macdonald.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • "The Duke shall be informed of the value of your learning," lisped the Cardinal.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • "Just to see the cedars, or Clorinda's grotto," lisped out a female voice.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • "I vote that we are all Tyrolese peasanths," lisped the fat and dumpy Mrs. Malone.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

  • "Buonos noches," lisped out Margeritta, with a slight curtsy.

British Dictionary definitions for lisped



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 lisped



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

lisped 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.