[mou-th ing]


the action of speaking in a meaningless, bombastic, or hypocritical manner.
an instance of this.


[noun mouth; verb mouth]

noun, plural mouths [mouthz] /maʊðz/.

Anatomy, Zoology.
  1. the opening through which an animal or human takes in food.
  2. the cavity containing the structures used in mastication.
  3. the structures enclosing or being within this cavity, considered as a whole.
the masticating and tasting apparatus.
a person or animal dependent on someone for sustenance: another mouth to feed.
the oral opening or cavity considered as the source of vocal utterance.
utterance or expression: to give mouth to one's thoughts.
talk, especially loud, empty, or boastful talk: That man is all mouth.
disrespectful talk or language; back talk; impudence.
a grimace made with the lips.
an opening leading out of or into any cavity or hollow place or thing: the mouth of a cave; a bottle's mouth.
the outfall at the lower end of a river or stream, where flowing water is discharged, as into a lake, sea, or ocean: the mouth of the Nile.
the opening between the jaws of a vise or the like.
the lateral hole of an organ pipe.
the lateral blowhole of a flute.

verb (used with object)

to utter in a sonorous or pompous manner, or with excessive mouth movements: to mouth a speech.
to form (a word, sound, etc.) with the lips without actually making an utterance: She silently mouthed her answer so as not to wake her napping child.
to utter or pronounce softly and indistinctly; mumble: Stop mouthing your words and speak up.
to put or take into the mouth, as food.
to press, rub, or chew at with the mouth or lips: The dog mouthed the toys.
to accustom (a horse) to the use of the bit and bridle.

verb (used without object)

to speak sonorously and oratorically, or with excessive mouth movement.
to grimace with the lips.

Verb Phrases

mouth off, Slang.
  1. to talk back; sass: He mouthed off to his mother.
  2. to express one's opinions, objections, or the like in a forceful or uninhibited manner, especially in public.

Origin of mouth

before 900; Middle English; Old English mūth; cognate with German Mund, Old Norse munnr
Related formsmouth·er, nounmouth·less, adjectiveout·mouth, verb (used with object)

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

Examples from the Web for mouthing

Contemporary Examples of mouthing

Historical Examples of mouthing

British Dictionary definitions for mouthing


noun (maʊθ) plural mouths (maʊðz)

the opening through which many animals take in food and issue vocal sounds
the system of organs surrounding this opening, including the lips, tongue, teeth, etc
the visible part of the lips on the faceRelated adjectives: oral, oscular
a person regarded as a consumer of foodfour mouths to feed
verbal expression (esp in the phrase give mouth to)
a particular manner of speakinga foul mouth
informal boastful, rude, or excessive talkhe is all mouth
the point where a river issues into a sea or lake
the opening of a container, such as a jar
the opening of or place leading into a cave, tunnel, volcano, etc
that part of the inner lip of a horse on which the bit acts, esp when specified as to sensitivitya hard mouth
music the narrow slit in an organ pipe
the opening between the jaws of a vice or other gripping device
a pout; grimace
by word of mouth orally rather than by written means
down in the mouth or down at the mouth in low spirits
have a big mouth or open one's big mouth informal to speak indiscreetly, loudly, or excessively
keep one's mouth shut to keep a secret
put one's money where one's mouth is to take appropriate action to support what one has said
put words into someone's mouth
  1. to represent, often inaccurately, what someone has said
  2. to tell someone what to say
run off at the mouth informal to talk incessantly, esp about unimportant matters

verb (maʊð)

to speak or say (something) insincerely, esp in public
(tr) to form (words) with movements of the lips but without speaking
(tr) to accustom (a horse) to wearing a bit
(tr) to take (something) into the mouth or to move (something) around inside the mouth
(intr usually foll by at) to make a grimace
Derived Formsmouther (ˈmaʊðə), noun

Word Origin for mouth

Old English mūth; compare Old Norse muthr, Gothic munths, Dutch mond
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 mouthing



Old English muþ "mouth, opening, door, gate," from Proto-Germanic *munthaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian muth, Old Norse munnr, Danish mund, Middle Dutch mont, Dutch mond, Old High German mund, German Mund, Gothic munþs "mouth"), with characteristic loss of nasal consonant in Old English (cf. tooth, goose, etc.), from PIE *mnto-s (cf. Latin mentum "chin"). In the sense of "outfall of a river" it is attested from late Old English; as the opening of anything with capacity (a bottle, cave, etc.) it is recorded from c.1200. Mouth-organ attested from 1660s.



c.1300, "to speak," from mouth (n.). Related: Mouthed; mouthing. Old English had muðettan "to blab."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

mouthing in Medicine



n. pl. mouths (mouðz)

The body opening through which an animal takes in food.
The oral cavity.
The opening to any cavity or canal in an organ or a bodily part.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with mouthing


In addition to the idiom beginning with mouth

  • mouth off

also see:

  • bad mouth
  • big mouth
  • butter wouldn't melt in one's mouth
  • down in the dumps (mouth)
  • foam at the mouth
  • foot in one's mouth
  • from the horse's mouth
  • hand to mouth
  • have one's heart in one's mouth
  • keep one's mouth shut
  • laugh out of the other side of one's mouth
  • leave a bad taste in one's mouth
  • look a gift horse in the mouth
  • make one's mouth water
  • melt in one's mouth
  • not open one's mouth
  • out of the mouths of babes
  • put one's money where one's mouth is
  • put words in someone's mouth
  • run off at the mouth
  • shoot off one's mouth
  • take the bit in one's mouth
  • take the bread out of someone's mouth
  • take the words out of someone's mouth
  • word of mouth
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.