9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[n. mouth; v. mouth] /n. maʊθ; v. maʊð/
noun, plural mouths
[mouth z] /maʊðz/ (Show IPA)
Anatomy, Zoology.
  1. the opening through which an animal or human takes in food.
  2. the cavity containing the structures used in mastication.
  3. the structures enclosing or being within this cavity, considered as a whole.
the masticating and tasting apparatus.
a person or animal dependent on someone for sustenance:
another mouth to feed.
the oral opening or cavity considered as the source of vocal utterance.
utterance or expression:
to give mouth to one's thoughts.
talk, especially loud, empty, or boastful talk:
That man is all mouth.
disrespectful talk or language; back talk; impudence.
a grimace made with the lips.
an opening leading out of or into any cavity or hollow place or thing:
the mouth of a cave; a bottle's mouth.
the outfall at the lower end of a river or stream, where flowing water is discharged, as into a lake, sea, or ocean:
the mouth of the Nile.
the opening between the jaws of a vise or the like.
the lateral hole of an organ pipe.
the lateral blowhole of a flute.
verb (used with object)
to utter in a sonorous or pompous manner, or with excessive mouth movements:
to mouth a speech.
to form (a word, sound, etc.) with the lips without actually making an utterance:
She silently mouthed her answer so as not to wake her napping child.
to utter or pronounce softly and indistinctly; mumble:
Stop mouthing your words and speak up.
to put or take into the mouth, as food.
to press, rub, or chew at with the mouth or lips:
The dog mouthed the toys.
to accustom (a horse) to the use of the bit and bridle.
verb (used without object)
to speak sonorously and oratorically, or with excessive mouth movement.
to grimace with the lips.
Verb phrases
mouth off, Slang.
  1. to talk back; sass:
    He mouthed off to his mother.
  2. to express one's opinions, objections, or the like in a forceful or uninhibited manner, especially in public.
down in / at the mouth, Informal. dejected; depressed; disheartened:
Ever since he lost his job, he has been looking very down in the mouth.
run off at the mouth, Informal. to talk incessantly or indiscreetly.
talk out of both sides of one's mouth, to make contradictory or untruthful statements.
Origin of mouth
before 900; Middle English; Old English mūth; cognate with German Mund, Old Norse munnr
Related forms
mouther, noun
mouthless, adjective
outmouth, verb (used with object)
5. voice, speech. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mouth
  • He immediately returned the gesture, opening his mouth and subtly but distinctly moving his tongue.
  • She paused, opening her mouth to sneeze, and stuck out her arms as if to gather strength to fight it back.
  • Symptoms vary and depend on the specific cause of the mouth ulcer.
  • And only to slip my tongue into the slot of your mouth.
  • The government is running the economy from hand to mouth.
  • The digestive process begins before food even enters the mouth.
  • As it turned out, when the subjects watched a mouth move, the part of their brain responsible for controlling their mouth lit up.
  • From behind her, a beefy brute with a scar on his cheek clamps a meaty hand over her mouth.
  • The scent of garlic sizzling in a skillet always makes your mouth water.
  • Clinical trials reveal that a drug designed to fight dry mouth also reduces the spread of lung-cancer tumors.
British Dictionary definitions for mouth


noun (maʊθ) (pl) mouths (maʊðz)
the opening through which many animals take in food and issue vocal sounds
the system of organs surrounding this opening, including the lips, tongue, teeth, etc
the visible part of the lips on the face related adjectives oral oscular
a person regarded as a consumer of food: four mouths to feed
verbal expression (esp in the phrase give mouth to)
a particular manner of speaking: a foul mouth
(informal) boastful, rude, or excessive talk: he is all mouth
the point where a river issues into a sea or lake
the opening of a container, such as a jar
the opening of or place leading into a cave, tunnel, volcano, etc
that part of the inner lip of a horse on which the bit acts, esp when specified as to sensitivity: a hard mouth
(music) the narrow slit in an organ pipe
the opening between the jaws of a vice or other gripping device
a pout; grimace
by word of mouth, orally rather than by written means
down in the mouth, down at the mouth, in low spirits
(informal) have a big mouth, open one's big mouth, to speak indiscreetly, loudly, or excessively
keep one's mouth shut, to keep a secret
put one's money where one's mouth is, to take appropriate action to support what one has said
put words into someone's mouth
  1. to represent, often inaccurately, what someone has said
  2. to tell someone what to say
(informal) run off at the mouth, to talk incessantly, esp about unimportant matters
verb (maʊð)
to speak or say (something) insincerely, esp in public
(transitive) to form (words) with movements of the lips but without speaking
(transitive) to accustom (a horse) to wearing a bit
(transitive) to take (something) into the mouth or to move (something) around inside the mouth
(intransitive) usually foll by at. to make a grimace
Derived Forms
mouther (ˈmaʊðə) noun
Word Origin
Old English mūth; compare Old Norse muthr, Gothic munths, Dutch mond
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 mouth

Old English muþ "mouth, opening, door, gate," from Proto-Germanic *munthaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian muth, Old Norse munnr, Danish mund, Middle Dutch mont, Dutch mond, Old High German mund, German Mund, Gothic munþs "mouth"), with characteristic loss of nasal consonant in Old English (cf. tooth, goose, etc.), from PIE *mnto-s (cf. Latin mentum "chin"). In the sense of "outfall of a river" it is attested from late Old English; as the opening of anything with capacity (a bottle, cave, etc.) it is recorded from c.1200. Mouth-organ attested from 1660s.


c.1300, "to speak," from mouth (n.). Related: Mouthed; mouthing. Old English had muðettan "to blab."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mouth in Medicine

mouth (mouth)
n. pl. mouths (mouðz)

  1. The body opening through which an animal takes in food.

  2. The oral cavity.

  3. The opening to any cavity or canal in an organ or a bodily part.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for mouth



Impudence; backtalk; sass: I've had about enough of your mouth (1926+)


: They jounced and mouthed each other

Related Terms

bad-mouth, bigmouth, blow off one's mouth, cotton mouth, foot-in-mouth disease, foulmouth, foulmouthed, from the horse's mouth,loudmouth,motor-mouth,mushmouth, poor-mouth, ratchet-mouth, run off at the mouth, shoot off one's mouth, smartmouth, watch one's mouth, zip one's lip

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with mouth
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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