follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

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.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for mealymouthed

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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for mealymouthed
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
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for mealy-mouthed

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for mealymouthed

23
0
Scrabble Words With Friends