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

Definition of misspeak

transitive verb

1 : to speak (something, such as a word) incorrectly
2 : 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 Dear Annie: Here is another perspective on the hyperaccurate person who corrects everyone who misspeaks. Annie Lane, oregonlive, "Dear Annie: Shoppers - leave gluten-free items for those who need them," 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, "Half of Israelis Want Netanyahu Out. But Do They Want Benny Gantz In?," 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, "Meet the Press - September 1, 2019," 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, "Trump Jr. Says He Wanted Russian Dirt to Determine Clinton’s ‘Fitness’ for Office," 7 Sep. 2017 Lawmakers in both parties misspeak about health policy all the time. Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Post, "The Health 202: Trump needs to take Health Policy 101," 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, "NSA Chief Denies, Denies, Denies Wired’s Domestic Spying Story," 20 Mar. 2012

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

See More

First Known Use of misspeak

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about misspeak

Time Traveler for misspeak

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for misspeak

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Misspeak.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misspeak. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on misspeak

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for misspeak

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with misspeak

Comments on misspeak

What made you want to look up misspeak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!