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

  • transitive v. To speak or pronounce incorrectly: The lead actor misspoke his lines.
  • intransitive v. To speak mistakenly, inappropriately, or rashly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To speak insultingly or disrespectfully.
  • v. To fail to pronounce, utter, or speak correctly

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To err in speaking.
  • transitive v. To utter wrongly.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To speak wrongly or improperly.
  • To speak disrespectfully or disparagingly: with of.
  • To speak or pronounce wrongly; utter imperfectly.
  • To express improperly or imperfectly; speak otherwise than according to one's intention: used reflexively: as, I misspoke myself. [Colloq.] To blame or calumniate.

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

  • v. pronounce a word incorrectly


From mis- +‎ speak. (Wiktionary)



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  • The word "misspeak" has a long and varied history, says John Simpson, chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

    "It goes back to the Old English period before the Norman Conquest to mean to murmur or grumble.

    "But it's got quite a wide sense of meanings, to speak insultingly or improperly or to speak disparagingly or disrespectfully or to speak evil of. Then in the mid to late Middle Ages, it was to pronounce incorrectly."

    March 27, 2008