[ stam-er ]
See synonyms for: stammerstammeredstammering on

verb (used without object)
  1. to speak with involuntary breaks and pauses, or with spasmodic repetitions of syllables or sounds.

verb (used with object)
  1. to say with a stammer (often followed by out).

  1. a stammering mode of utterance.

  2. a stammered utterance.

Origin of stammer

First recorded before 1000; Middle English verb stammeren, Old English stamerian (cognate with German stammern ), equivalent to stam “stammering” + -erian -er6; akin to Old Norse stamma “to stammer,” Gothic stams “stammering”

synonym study For stammer

1. Stammer, stutter mean to speak with some form of difficulty. Stammer, the general term, suggests a speech disfluency that results in broken or inarticulate sounds and sometimes in complete stoppage of speech; it may be temporary, caused by sudden excitement, confusion, embarrassment, or other emotion, or it may be persistent and require speech therapy for its correction. Stutter, the parallel term preferred in technical usage, designates a broad range of speech production disturbances that produce spasmodic interruptions of the speech rhythm, repetitions, or prolongations of sounds or syllables: The child's stutter was no mere stammer of embarrassment.

Other words for stammer

Other words from stammer

  • stam·mer·er, noun
  • stam·mer·ing·ly, adverb
  • un·stam·mer·ing, adjective
  • un·stam·mer·ing·ly, adverb

Words that may be confused with stammer

  • stammer , stutter (see synonym study at the current entry)

Words Nearby stammer Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use stammer in a sentence

  • This was the unhappy and astonishing birth of my stammer or at least my first gripping self-conscious awareness of it.

    How I Found My Voice | Carly Simon | June 7, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • But I also had an index in the back of my diary that explained that famul meant stutter of stammer.

    How I Found My Voice | Carly Simon | June 7, 2009 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • Malcolm was hardly able to stammer his acceptance of the appointment thus offered, but the General had no time for useless talk.

    The Red Year | Louis Tracy
  • He becomes quiet and less boisterous only to stammer out some idle talk and some nonsense.

  • There was nothing in the question to make me blush and stammer, yet I did both.

  • We must pass over Peter as usual, or will you try again once more—I will not say to read, but to stammer through a sentence.

    Heidi | Johanna Spyri
  • He began to stammer out something like gentleness, and something like reproof.

British Dictionary definitions for stammer


/ (ˈstæmə) /

  1. to speak or say (something) in a hesitant way, esp as a result of a speech disorder or through fear, stress, etc

  1. a speech disorder characterized by involuntary repetitions and hesitations

Origin of stammer

Old English stamerian; related to Old Saxon stamarōn, Old High German stamm

Derived forms of stammer

  • stammerer, noun
  • stammering, noun, adjective
  • stammeringly, adverb

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