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mealy-mouthed

[mee-lee-moutht, -mouth d] /ˈmi liˌmaʊθt, -ˌmaʊðd/
adjective
1.
avoiding the use of direct and plain language, as from timidity, excessive delicacy, or hypocrisy; inclined to mince words; insincere, devious, or compromising.
Also, mealymouthed.
Origin
1565-1575
1565-75
Related forms
mealy-mouthedly
[mee-lee-mou-thid-lee, -th id-, -moutht-, -mouth d-] /ˈmi liˌmaʊ θɪd li, -ðɪd-, -ˌmaʊθt-, -ˌmaʊðd-/ (Show IPA),
adverb
mealy-mouthedness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for mealy-mouthed
  • On many campuses, the third-year review is cursory and mealy-mouthed.
  • There is one strong upside, however: this mealy-mouthed statement leaves the door open for dialogue.
  • She was mealy-mouthed, awkward, clearly second string.
  • What you can't be these days is mealy-mouthed about it.
  • There is nothing mawkish or mealy-mouthed about his successor.
  • We lefties get banged over the head--rightly so--for, at times, being mealy-mouthed and soft-headed.
  • He didn't offer a careful, non-controversial mealy-mouthed defense of civil unions.
  • But all this came after days of mealy-mouthed denial and obfuscation.
  • Talk about a mealy-mouthed, tongue-twisting article that talks out of both sides of its mouth simultaneously.
  • Really what you got is mealy-mouthed rubbish, there.
British Dictionary definitions for mealy-mouthed

mealy-mouthed

adjective
1.
hesitant or afraid to speak plainly; not outspoken
Derived Forms
mealy-mouthedness, noun
Word Origin
C16: from mealy (in the sense: soft, soft-spoken)
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
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Word Origin and History for mealy-mouthed
mealy-mouthed
1570s, "afraid to say what one really thinks," probably from O.E. milisc "sweet," from P.Gmc. *meduz "honey" (see mead (1)), which suits the sense, but if the O.E. word did not survive long enough to be the source of this, perhaps the first element is from meal (2) on notion of the "softness" of ground flour.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word Value for mealy

10
11
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