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From Middle English mouth, from Old English mūþ (mouth, opening, door, gate), from Proto-Germanic *munþaz (mouth), from Proto-Indo-European *ment- (to chew; jaw, mouth). Cognate with Scots mouth (mouth), North Frisian müd, müth, müss (mouth), West Frisian mûn (mouth), Dutch mond (mouth), muide (river mouth) and mui (riptide), German Mund (mouth), Swedish mun (mouth), Norwegian munn (mouth), Faroese muður, munnur (mouth), Icelandic munnur (mouth), Gothic 𐌼𐌿𐌽𐌸𐍃 (munþs, mouth), Latin mentum (chin) and mandō (to chew), Ancient Greek μάσταξ (mástax, jaws, mouth) and μασάομαι (masáomai, to chew), Albanian mjekër (chin, beard), Welsh mant (jawbone), Hittite [script needed] (mēni, chin).

An illustration of the inside of a human mouth, with cheeks cut and lips pulled back.





mouth (plural mouths)

  1. (anatomy) The opening of a creature through which food is ingested.
    "Open your mouth and say 'aah'," directed the doctor.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 7, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      I made a speaking trumpet of my hands and commenced to whoop “Ahoy!” and “Hello!” at the top of my lungs. [] The Colonel woke up, and, after asking what in brimstone was the matter, opened his mouth and roared “Hi!” and “Hello!” like the bull of Bashan.
  2. The end of a river out of which water flows into a sea or other large body of water.
    The mouth of the river is a good place to go birdwatching in spring and autumn.
  3. An outlet, aperture or orifice.
    The mouth of a cave
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 1, in The China Governess[1]:
      ‘It was called the wickedest street in London and the entrance was just here. I imagine the mouth of the road lay between this lamp standard and the second from the next down there.’
  4. (slang) A loud or overly talkative person.
    My kid sister is a real mouth; she never shuts up.
  5. (saddlery) The crosspiece of a bridle bit, which enters the mouth of an animal.
  6. (obsolete) A principal speaker; one who utters the common opinion; a mouthpiece.
    • Addison
      Every coffeehouse has some particular statesman belonging to it, who is the mouth of the street where he lives.
  7. (obsolete) Cry; voice.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  8. (obsolete) Speech; language; testimony.
    • Bible, Matt. xviii. 16
      that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established
  9. (obsolete) A wry face; a grimace; a mow.
    • Shakespeare
      Counterfeit sad looks, / Make mouths upon me when I turn my back.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


mouth (third-person singular simple present mouths, present participle mouthing, simple past and past participle mouthed)

  1. (transitive) To speak; to utter.
    He mouthed his opinions on the subject at the meeting.
    • Hare
      mouthing big phrases
  2. (transitive) To make the actions of speech, without producing sound.
    The prompter mouthed the words to the actor, who had forgotten them.
  3. (transitive) To pick up or handle with the lips or mouth, but not chew or swallow.
    • 1973, Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow:
      Everyone is kind of aroused, Thanatz is sitting up on the bar having his own as yet unsheathed penis mouthed by one of the white-gloved Wends.
    The fish mouthed the lure, but didn't bite.
  4. (obsolete) To take into the mouth; to seize or grind with the mouth or teeth; to chew; to devour.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  5. (obsolete) To form or cleanse with the mouth; to lick, as a bear licks her cub.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Sir Thomas Browne to this entry?)
  6. (obsolete) To make mouths at.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of R. Blair to this entry?)


Derived termsEdit

Pages starting with "mouth".

See alsoEdit

Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit


From Old English mūþ, from Proto-Germanic *munþaz.



mouth (plural mouths)

  1. mouth