\ ˈlisp How to pronounce lisp (audio) \
lisped; lisping; lisps

Definition of lisp

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to pronounce the sibilants \s\ and \z\ imperfectly especially by turning them into \th\ and \t͟h\
2 : to speak falteringly, childishly, or with a lisp

transitive verb

: to utter falteringly or with a lisp

Definition of lisp (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a speech defect or affectation characterized by lisping
2 : a sound resembling a lisp
\ ˈlisp How to pronounce LISP (audio) \

Definition of LISP (Entry 3 of 3)

: a computer programming language that is designed for easy manipulation of symbols that represent data and instructions and is used extensively for work in artificial intelligence

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Other Words from lisp


lisper noun

Examples of lisp in a Sentence

Noun (1) He spoke with a lisp.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Max Cadillac aces his biggest Moonlight role to date as Roger’s lisping common-law assistant Carmen Ghia. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Review: Moonlight’s well-honed ‘Producers’ is anything but a flop," 13 June 2019 Paul Shaffer cackled from behind a keyboard in shades; baritoned redhead Alan Kalter introduced guests; there were videos of stupid pet tricks and a befuddled, lisping Larry Bud Melman. John Clarke, HWD, "Bill Murray Stole the Show as David Letterman Accepted the Mark Twain Prize," 23 Oct. 2017 Cera is also doing a fun lisping impression of Brando while ponderously spouting off garbled nods to the actor’s filmography. Joanna Robinson, HWD, "Twin Peaks: 20 Easter Eggs, References, and Callbacks You Might Have Missed," 23 May 2017 One of the little girls handed her a copy to inscribe and lisped her name. Mary Norris, The New Yorker, "A Day in Hiram," 2 Feb. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Other parts of the email claimed that DeVoe was uneducated and has a very bad lisp. Tandra Smith |, al, "Black Alabama news anchor receives racist email, replies ‘be blessed’," 30 Dec. 2020 For the next three years, Aristotle, a curmudgeonly figure who had small eyes, wore many rings and spoke with a lisp, tutored Alexander in biology, ethics, literature, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, politics, rhetoric and zoology. Myrto Papadopoulos, Smithsonian Magazine, "The King and the Conqueror," 8 June 2020 The Bloodline Emmy winner and Marvel Skrull is practically his own archetype at this point: sad, searching eyes, ever-so-Bogart-ish lisp. Darren Franich,, "The Outsider throws a great cast into a Very Long Procedural: Review," 9 Jan. 2020 With a high-pitched voice and mild lisp, Mr. Johnston bared his soul in folksy songs about unrequited love, existential dread, his affection for the Beatles and the thrills of a speeding motorcycle. Washington Post, "Daniel Johnston, enigmatic singer-songwriter with a bittersweet touch, dies at 58," 14 Sep. 2019 In one especially sour moment, Lewis even mocked Duncan’s apparent lisp. Jonathan Zimmerman, The New York Review of Books, "The Uncivil War Over Schools," 21 Mar. 2019 No, those bewigged, Georgia-era fops didn’t speak with a lisp. John Kelly, Washington Post, "His name was ‘Alexander Hamilton.’ New exhibits recount his words and deeds.," 27 June 2018 Standing in front of the small crowd, Greiner would have been in her late 20s, with hooded eyes, blonde hair, and a faint British accent masked by a lisp. Caroline Lester, The Atlantic, "What Happens When Your Bomb-Defusing Robot Becomes a Weapon," 26 Apr. 2018 Only the most hardcore Stranger Things fans among us might remember the scene in the very first episode where Dustin defends himself against school bullies making fun of his toothless lisp. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "'Stranger Things' Star Gaten Matarazzo Shares What Life Is Like With His Rare Bone Disorder," 26 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lisp.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lisp


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun (1)

circa 1625, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

1959, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lisp


Middle English, from Old English -wlyspian; akin to Old High German lispen to lisp

Noun (2)

list processing

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Time Traveler for lisp

Time Traveler

The first known use of lisp was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Lisp.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for lisp



English Language Learners Definition of lisp

: a speech problem that causes someone to pronounce the letters "s" and "z" like "th"


\ ˈlisp How to pronounce lisp (audio) \
lisped; lisping

Kids Definition of lisp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to pronounce the sounds \s\ and \z\ as \th\ and \t͟h\



Kids Definition of lisp (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act or habit of pronouncing the sounds \s\ and \z\ as \th\ and \t͟h\
\ ˈlisp How to pronounce lisp (audio) \

Medical Definition of lisp

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to pronounce the sibilants \s\ and \z\ imperfectly especially by giving them the sounds \th\ and \t͟h\
2 : to speak with a lisp

transitive verb

: to utter with a lisp



Medical Definition of lisp (Entry 2 of 2)

: a speech defect or affectation characterized by lisping

More from Merriam-Webster on lisp

Nglish: Translation of lisp for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about lisp

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