: to understand what people are saying by watching the movement of their lips
deaf people who know how to read lips
I couldn't hear him, but I read his lips.
Recent Examples on the Web One of the worst offenders in recent memory: the second floor of Petite Cerise, where my party read lips through an 85-decibel dinner — the equivalent of eating to the accompaniment of a garbage disposal. —Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, 17 May 2023 Faces matter: Many people, like myself, rely on the ability to read lips, facial expressions and body language to fully understand what is being said. —Meg Battle, Forbes, 28 Apr. 2021 Without her mother’s guidance, Meyers said, she would be overwhelmed by the bustling soundscape of the Paralympics and unable to read lips hidden behind protective masks. —Childs Walker, baltimoresun.com, 20 July 2021 Most people with deafness and hearing impairment either learn sign language or read lips or both. —Annie Lane, oregonlive, 15 Feb. 2023 His preternatural ability to read lips is a mystery. —Zach Schonbrun Desiree Rios, New York Times, 14 Sep. 2022 Can anyone read lips? —Amanda Kaufman, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Jan. 2023 Sometimes, though, like during the World Cup event in frosty Breckenridge, which happened to be a qualifier for the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, Gillon couldn’t read lips. —Julie Jag, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 Dec. 2022 Mistic uses American Sign Language to communicate, is unable to read lips and can vocalize only a few words, according to the suit. —NBC News, 28 Sep. 2021 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'read lips.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Love words? Need even more definitions?Merriam-Webster unabridged
See Definitions and Examples »
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Words at Play
Palter, Dissemble, and Other Words for Lying
Skunk, Bayou, and Other Words with Native American Origins
You've used more than you might think
Words For Things You Didn't Know Have Names, Vol. 2
When 'thingamajig' and 'thingamabob' just won't do
When Were Words First Used?
Look up any year to find out
Ask the Editors