from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Speechless or confused in expression, as from shyness, embarrassment, or astonishment.
  • adj. Affected with tongue-tie.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Unable to express oneself clearly or fluently; at a loss for words.
  • adj. Suffering from tongue-tie or ankyloglossia.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Destitute of the power of distinct articulation; having an impediment in the speech, esp. when caused by a short frænum.
  • adj. Unable to speak freely, from whatever cause.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Having the tongue tied, by reason of the shortness of the bridle or frenum, to the extent of impeding speech or causing indistinct articulation.
  • Unable to speak out or freely from whatever cause, as embarrassment: as, “tongue-tied simplicity,”

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. unable to express yourself clearly or fluently


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • I have ever been tongue-tied with the king, and I have never been able to play anything.

    Exit the Actress

  • Never had a guy made me feel so flustered, so completely tongue-tied, so . . . so hyperaware and self-conscious as this one did.


  • When I tried to do what they wanted, I was a tongue-tied mess.

    Fallin’ Up

  • How is it that we find a way to ask a boss for a raise or tell a spouse we hate their outfit, but we end up tongue-tied when we try to say "I love you" to the people who matter most to us?

    I Just Called to Say, Ahem, I, Uhh, Love You

  • When he bumped into people, instead of thanking them for keeping him on his feet, he complained in a slurred and tongue-tied voice.

    Dreamseller: The Calling

  • I could have said many different things at that point, or I could have suffered from a tongue-tied teenager attack, but I opted to give credit where it was due.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: Thanks Dad

  • I can't recall another moment when I was ever tongue-tied.

    Stendhal Syndrome

  • Apple -- whose marketers introduced the iPod with the pithy pitch "a thousand songs in your pocket" -- seems positively tongue-tied when seeking to describe Apple TV.

    Smart TV: Still The Tech World's Afghanistan?

  • There was something inexpressibly sacred about it, yet she found herself tongue-tied.

    CHAPTER 17

  • The ruling was hailed as a shift away from what tongue-tied media organizations here call "super injunctions" — orders that prevent media outlets from naming the person who obtained the injunction, or that such an injunction even exists.

    Stars Boost Use of U.K. Gag Rules

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  • The best description when I met someone:)How can I get rid of that?!So awkward,so "not myself".

    January 31, 2007