Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Unwilling to state facts or opinions simply and directly.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Speaking cautiously or warily; not saying plainly what is meant; using too much caution or reserve in speech, as from timidity or hypocrisy; hence, soft-spoken; given to the use of soft or honeyed words; hypocritical.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Using soft words; not straightforward; plausible; affectedly or timidly delicate of speech; speaking deviously; unwilling to tell the truth in plain language. Opposite of frank or blunt.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective prone to speaking evasively, indirectly, or duplicitously; not forthright

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

  • adjective hesitant to state facts or opinions simply and directly as from e.g. timidity or hypocrisy
  • adjective hesitant to state facts or opinions simply and directly as from e.g. timidity or hypocrisy

Etymologies

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

[Akin to the German expression Mehl im Maule behalten, to be indirect in speech (literally, to have meal in the mouth).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Possibly from German Mehl im Maule behalten via Martin Luther

Examples

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