tongue twister


: a word, phrase, or sentence difficult to articulate because of a succession of similar consonantal sounds (as in "twin-screw steel cruiser")

Examples of tongue twister in a Sentence

Her last name is a real tongue twister.
Recent Examples on the Web In one clip, Cooke can be seen doing push-ups in his dressing room, while Radke recited Ron Burgundy's eclectic tongue twisters from Anchorman into his mirror in another., 14 Feb. 2024 After struggling to conquer the tongue twister for Oliver Putnam’s (played by Martin Short) Broadway show, Death Rattle Dazzle, Martin’s Charles-Haden Savage finally performs the song in all its tempo-dipping, word-spinning glory. Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 20 Sep. 2023 But alliteration isn't all about tongue twisters – it's often used in marketing or naming to create a catchy, memorable slogan. USA TODAY, 9 June 2023 This set comes with cards that challenge and teach little ones through picture puzzles, math problems, tongue twisters, mazes, vocabulary games, and more. Ysolt Usigan, Woman's Day, 13 Mar. 2023 The tongue twister about dual-use implies that though AI might originally be devised in an AI For Good aspirational mindset, there is a solid chance that the very same AI can be readily adjusted to land into the dreary and unsettling AI For Bad camp. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2023 During the NBA Draft on Thursday, ESPN commentator Kendrick Perkins unintentionally invented a new tongue twister after struggling on-air to pronounce the name of Golden State Warriors' No. 14 pick, Moses Moody, reports Mediaite. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 30 July 2021 Critics complain that the constant doubling up of genders turns each phrase into a potential tongue twister and stymies the natural flow of speech and prose. New York Times, 1 Aug. 2022 Try a tongue twister challenge today with your parents or a friend. Washington Post, 3 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tongue twister.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1904, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tongue twister was in 1904

Dictionary Entries Near tongue twister

Cite this Entry

“Tongue twister.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

tongue twister

: a word, phrase, or sentence that is hard to say because of a series of similar consonant sounds (as in "twin-screw steel cruiser" or "rubber baby-buggy bumpers")

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