mealy-mouthed

or meal·y·mouthed

[ mee-lee-moutht, -mouth d ]
/ ˈmi liˌmaʊθt, -ˌmaʊðd /

adjective

avoiding the use of direct and plain language, as from timidity, excessive delicacy, or hypocrisy; inclined to mince words; insincere, devious, or compromising.

Origin of mealy-mouthed

First recorded in 1565–75

Related forms

meal·y-mouth·ed·ly [mee-lee-mou-thid-lee, -th id-, -moutht-, -mouth d-] /ˈmi liˌmaʊ θɪd li, -ðɪd-, -ˌmaʊθt-, -ˌmaʊðd-/, adverbmeal·y-mouth·ed·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for mealy-mouthed

British Dictionary definitions for mealy-mouthed

mealy-mouthed


adjective

hesitant or afraid to speak plainly; not outspoken

Derived Forms

mealy-mouthedness, noun

Word Origin for mealy-mouthed

C16: from mealy (in the sense: soft, soft-spoken)
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