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tongue-tied

[tuhng-tahyd]
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adjective
  1. unable to speak, as from shyness, embarrassment, or surprise.
  2. affected with tongue-tie.
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Origin of tongue-tied

1520–30; tongue + tied

tongue-tie

[tuhng-tahy]
noun
  1. impeded motion of the tongue caused especially by shortness of the frenum, which binds it to the floor of the mouth.
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verb (used with object), tongue-tied, tongue-ty·ing.
  1. to make tongue-tied.
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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

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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

    Joseph Conrad

  • 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.


British Dictionary definitions for tongue-tied

tongue-tied

adjective
  1. speechless, esp with embarrassment or shyness
  2. having a condition of tongue-tie
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tongue-tie

noun
  1. a congenital condition in which the tongue has restricted mobility as the result of an abnormally short frenulum
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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

tongue-tied in Medicine

tongue-tie

n.
  1. Restricted mobility of the tongue resulting from abnormal shortness of the frenum.ankyloglossia
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.