mis·​speak ˌmis-ˈspēk How to pronounce misspeak (audio)
misspoke ˌmis-ˈspōk How to pronounce misspeak (audio) ; misspoken ˌmis-ˈspō-kən How to pronounce misspeak (audio) ; misspeaking

transitive verb

: to speak (something, such as a word) incorrectly
: to express (oneself) imperfectly or incorrectly
claims now that he misspoke himself

intransitive verb

: to speak incorrectly : misspeak oneself

Examples of misspeak in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Elsewhere, Claude and Angot’s mother, who had Christine out of wedlock and fought to get her father to recognize his child in a legal sense, are both similarly upbraided for misspeaking about Christine’s trauma in subtle ways, or for not being sympathetic in the right way. Leslie Felperin, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Feb. 2024 People are just supposed to like you — you’re not supposed to misspeak, look fat, date the wrong person, have your makeup look a different color. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, 12 Feb. 2022 Dear Annie: Here is another perspective on the hyperaccurate person who corrects everyone who misspeaks. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 19 May 2020 In interviews, some voters said Mr. Gantz reminded them of Yitzhak Rabin, who also could misspeak and appear embarrassed when facing the news media. David M. Halbfinger, New York Times, 24 Aug. 2019 The fact is that Donald Trump, as someone who misspeaks constantly, deliberately, through lack of knowledge, through lies, other kinds of problems, is the standard that whoever is the Democratic nominee is going to run against. NBC News, 1 Sep. 2019 But intentionally misspeaking to Congress is a crime, giving his statement on Thursday added weight. Nicholas Fandos and Maggie Haberman, New York Times, 7 Sep. 2017 Lawmakers in both parties misspeak about health policy all the time. Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Post, 12 May 2017 The heads of the intelligence service have a long tradition of misspeaking or telling untruths that advance their agenda. Ryan Singel, WIRED, 20 Mar. 2012

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misspeak.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of misspeak was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near misspeak

Cite this Entry

“Misspeak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misspeak. Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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