down in/at the mouth, Informal. dejected; depressed; disheartened: Ever since he lost his job, he has been looking very down in the mouth.
    run off at the mouth, Informal. to talk incessantly or indiscreetly.
    talk out of both sides of one's mouth, to make contradictory or untruthful statements.

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

British Dictionary definitions for talk out of both sides of one's mouth


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 talk out of both sides of one's mouth



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

Medicine definitions for talk out of both sides of one's mouth



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 talk out of both sides of one's mouth


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.