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

Other Words from stammer

stammer noun
stammerer \ ˈsta-​mər-​ər How to pronounce stammer (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 the initial stammered responses, someone said that would be impossible because grades are a service that universities provide to society. Anirban Mukhopadhyay, Quartz India, 6 May 2020 Coldplay has become a band defined by polish, but viewers here got quite the opposite: Martin in a fisherman’s sweater and beanie, fragile-seeming and stammering nervously into the camera. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 21 Mar. 2020 Bloomberg acted wounded, stammering when challenged. Todd J. Gillman, Dallas News, 20 Feb. 2020 Shortly after the afternoon newscast, competing points of views on what Morris said while stammering during the newscast hit social media. Stephanie Toone, ajc, 27 Jan. 2020 Barry Yeoman, a man with a lifelong stutter, suggests that while society mostly views a stutter as a disability, stammering really isn’t the problem at all. Krista Stevens, Longreads, 8 Nov. 2019 Inaba stammered before voting to save Karamo and Jenna. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, 29 Oct. 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. Wired, 26 May 2019 As Alceste, Elliott Kashner fumes and stammers with disgust, often while dangling a couplet’s final word for comic effect. Nelson Pressley, Washington Post, 5 June 2019

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

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Cite this Entry

“Stammer.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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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


intransitive verb
stam·​mer | \ ˈstam-ər How to pronounce stammer (audio) \
stammered; stammering\ -​(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce stammer (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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