stam·​mer | \ ˈsta-mər How to pronounce stammer (audio) \
stammered; stammering\ ˈsta-​mə-​riŋ How to pronounce stammering (audio) , ˈstam-​riŋ \

Definition of stammer

intransitive verb

: to make involuntary stops and repetitions in speaking : stutter

transitive verb

: to utter with involuntary stops or repetitions

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Other Words from stammer

stammer noun
stammerer \ ˈsta-​mər-​ər How to pronounce stammerer (audio) \ noun

Examples of stammer in a Sentence

“I d-don't know what you're talking about!” she stammered. He stammered an excuse and fled.

Recent Examples on the Web

After a sleepy, stammering and unsteady performance in the first primary debates in June, Mr Biden, a former vice-president and current front-runner, came prepared to fend off attacks. I.k. | Washington, The Economist, "Joe Biden comes under fire in the second Democratic debate," 1 Aug. 2019 But Mr Mueller, who stammered, asked for questions to be repeated and answered questions with either clipped one-word replies or legalistic language did not help their case. The Economist, "Impeachment looks even less likely now than before Robert Mueller’s testimony," 25 July 2019 Before long, Jeff Goldblum, playing the chaos theorist Ian Malcolm, was pausing, stammering and charming his way through lines about the unpredictability of nature in Jurassic Park. Quanta Magazine, "The Hidden Heroines of Chaos," 20 May 2019 Chris refutes this, stammering his way through a defense. Rebecca Farley,, "The Bachelorette Season 14, Episode 6 Recap: Is Now Really The Time For A "Debate"?," 3 July 2018 The man who confidently stammered into fame as Ian Malcolm returns in the latest installment, still fresh off playing one of the best villains in years in Thor: Ragnarok. Luke Darby, GQ, "Jeff Goldblum Almost Got Conned Out of Jurassic Park Fame," 19 June 2018 But even if that was the case, why would Rubio upload such a stammering video of himself looking clueless about hip hop? Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root, "Marco Rubio Has Thoughts On Kanye West, Pusha T And Drake ... Random, Confusing Thoughts," 16 June 2018 The loquacious linebacker often stammered when answering questions on sensitive topics, and those questions often had to do with his decreased playing time. Jeff Mclane,, "Did Eagles or Mychal Kendricks have the right evaluation of his abilities? | Jeff McLane," 23 May 2018 Boys were depicted as socially awkward, blushing, stammering, and accident-prone, while girls were giggly and boy-crazy. Michael Cart, Smithsonian, "How “Young Adult” Fiction Blossomed With Teenage Culture in America," 7 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stammer.' 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 stammer

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

History and Etymology for stammer

Middle English stameren, from Old English stamerian; akin to Old High German stamalōn to stammer, Old Norse stemma to hinder, damn up — more at stem

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Statistics for stammer

Last Updated

17 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for stammer

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

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More Definitions for stammer



English Language Learners Definition of stammer

: to speak with many pauses and repetitions because you have a speech problem or because you are very nervous, frightened, etc.


stam·​mer | \ ˈsta-mər How to pronounce stammer (audio) \
stammered; stammering

Kids Definition of stammer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to speak with involuntary stops and much repeating



Kids Definition of stammer (Entry 2 of 2)

: an act or instance of speaking with involuntary stops and much repeating
stam·​mer | \ ˈstam-ər How to pronounce stammer (audio) \
stammered; stammering\ -​(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce stammering (audio) \

Medical Definition of stammer

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make involuntary stops and repetitions in speaking : stutter



Medical Definition of stammer (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of stammering
2 : the habitual tendency to stammer a severe stammer : stammering sense 2

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More from Merriam-Webster on stammer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with stammer

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stammer

Spanish Central: Translation of stammer

Nglish: Translation of stammer for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of stammer for Arabic Speakers

Comments on stammer

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a period when something is suspended

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