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 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, "These Hidden Women Helped Invent Chaos Theory," 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, "‘A Misanthrope’ brings Molière’s fabulous fakes into the 21st century," 5 June 2019 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 A weeknight performance had its flubs — actors stammering and at one point needing a line prompt from the tech crew just to keep things on track. Matthew J. Palm,, "'Wanzie's Two Men Trapped in Women's Bodies' at Orlando Fringe Festival," 24 May 2017 Yet Boudreau, who won more than 400 games and eight division titles in nine seasons as the coach of Washington and Anaheim, stammered when asked if Hitchcock was right about experience. Pat Borzi, New York Times, "Wild Hire a Top Fixer, and the Result Is Hard to Argue With," 22 Feb. 2017

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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Time Traveler for stammer

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for stammer

Cite this Entry

“Stammer.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for stammer


How to pronounce stammer (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for stammer

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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delight or enjoyment

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