- unable to speak, as from shyness, embarrassment, or surprise.
- affected with tongue-tie.
Origin of tongue-tied
1520–30; tongue + tied
- impeded motion of the tongue caused especially by shortness of the frenum, which binds it to the floor of the mouth.
- to make tongue-tied.
Origin of tongue-tie
First recorded in 1545–55; back formation from tongue-tied
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for tongue-tied
It is amazing how tongue-tied they get when you present them with irrefutable information.How the NRA Enables Massacres
May 24, 2014
In fact, the governor does not need much more than a ballot line from the aimless, tongue-tied, villain-rich GOP.How Palin's Resignation Makes Her the True Frontrunner
July 3, 2009
The certainty that she knew what they had tried so hard to conceal kept them tongue-tied.Mary-'Gusta
Joseph C. Lincoln
Other considerations occurring to his prudence had kept him tongue-tied from day to day.End of the Tether
A woman is tongue-tied by the countless conventionalities of education.Young Mr. Barter's Repentance
David Christie Murray
It, however, checked her advances, and for some time held her tongue-tied.The Pioneers
James Fenimore Cooper
I expected on the whole to see him tongue-tied, especially before Dolly and Dilly.The Right Stuff
- speechless, esp with embarrassment or shyness
- having a condition of tongue-tie
- a congenital condition in which the tongue has restricted mobility as the result of an abnormally short frenulum
- Restricted mobility of the tongue resulting from abnormal shortness of the frenum.ankyloglossia
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.