[ stam-er ]
/ ˈstæm ər /

verb (used without object)

to speak with involuntary breaks and pauses, or with spasmodic repetitions of syllables or sounds.

verb (used with object)

to say with a stammer (often followed by out).


a stammering mode of utterance.
a stammered utterance.

Origin of stammer

before 1000; Middle English stammeren (v.), Old English stamerian (cognate with German stammern), equivalent to stam stammering + -erian -er6; akin to Old Norse stamma to stammer, Gothic stams stammering
1 pause, hesitate, falter. Stammer, stutter mean to speak with some form of difficulty. Stammer, the general term, suggests a speech difficulty 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 so deep-seated as to require special treatment for its correction. Stutter, the parallel term preferred in technical usage, designates a broad range of defects 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.
Related formsstam·mer·er, nounstam·mer·ing·ly, adverbun·stam·mer·ing, adjectiveun·stam·mer·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedstammer stutter (see synonym study at the current entry) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for stammer

British Dictionary definitions for stammer


/ (ˈstæmə) /


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


a speech disorder characterized by involuntary repetitions and hesitations
Derived Formsstammerer, nounstammering, noun, adjectivestammeringly, adverb

Word Origin for stammer

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

Medicine definitions for stammer


[ stămər ]


A speech disorder characterized by hesitation and repetition of sounds, or by mispronunciation or transposition of certain consonants, especially l, r, and s.


To speak with a stammer.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.