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 lisping

sputter, stutter, mispronounce

Examples from the Web for lisping

Historical Examples of lisping

  • When the lisping lips of my young child asked me, "Papa, who made me?"

    The Meaning of Evolution

    Samuel Christian Schmucker

  • He had then, the defects of lisping and stammering which we, often turned into ridicule.

  • "Say 'Our Father,'" he used to demand of the lisping infant when he had her alone with him.

    Jennie Gerhardt

    Theodore Dreiser

  • If it did, I should be lisping "husband, husband, husband" from cock-crow to owl's cry.

  • When they returned the child offered me the bowl, lisping in a charming manner.

    Lost Diaries

    Maurice Baring

British Dictionary definitions for lisping



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 lisping



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

lisping 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.