AskDefine | Define lisp

Dictionary Definition



1 a speech defect that involves pronouncing s like voiceless th and z like voiced th
2 a flexible procedure-oriented programing language that manipulates symbols in the form of lists [syn: list-processing language] v : speak with a lisp

User Contributed Dictionary



  • Standard: /lɪsp/
  • Humorous:
    1. /lɪθp/
    2. /lɪʪp/


  1. The habit or an act of lisping.


The habit or an act of lisping.
  • Icelandic: smámæli
  • Spanish: ceceo, balbuceo


  1. Pronounce the sibilant letter ‘s’ imperfectly; to give ‘s’ and ‘z’ the sounds of ‘th’ (/θ / ð/) — a defect common amongst children.
  2. Speak with imperfect articulation; to mispronounce, as a child learning to talk.
  3. Speak hesitatingly and with a low voice, as if afraid.
  4. Pronounce with a lisp.
  5. Utter with imperfect articulation; to express with words pronounced imperfectly or indistinctly, as a child speaks; hence, to express by the use of simple, childlike language.
  6. Speak with reserve or concealment; to utter timidly or confidentially; as, to lisp treason.


Pronounce the sibilant letter ‘s’ imperfectly

Extensive Definition

A lisp (OE wlisp, stammering) is a speech impediment, historically also known as sigmatism. Stereotypically, people with a lisp are unable to pronounce sibilants (like the sound [s]), and replace them with interdentals (like the sound [θ]), though there are actually several kinds of lisp. The result is that the speech is unclear.
  • "Interdental" lisping is produced when the tip of the tongue protrudes between the front teeth and "dentalised" lisping is produced when the tip of the tongue just touches the front teeth.
  • The "lateral" lisp, where the /s/ and /z/ sounds are produced with air escaping over the sides of the tongue, is also called 'slushy ess' or a 'slushy lisp' due to the wet, spitty sound. The symbols for these lateralized sounds are in the Extended International Phonetic Alphabet for speech disorders, [ʪ] and [ʫ].
  • Finally, there is the "palatal lisp," where the speaker attempts to make the sounds with the tongue in contact with the palate.


lisp in German: Lispeln
lisp in Italian: Sigmatismo
lisp in Japanese: 構音障害
lisp in Lithuanian: Šveplavimas
lisp in Dutch: slissen

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

aphonia, artificial voice, assibilate, assibilation, broken speech, broken tones, broken voice, buzz, childish treble, choked voice, cracked voice, croak, crow, drawl, dysarthria, dyslalia, dyslogia, dysphasia, dysphonia, dysphrasia, effervesce, effervescence, effervescing, falsetto, fizz, fizzle, fizzling, frication, frictional rustling, harshness, hawking voice, hiss, hissing, hoarseness, hush, hushing, idioglossia, idiolalia, impairment of speech, lisping, loss of voice, mince, muzzy speech, nasal tone, nasalization, quaver, rhonchus, shake, shush, shushing, sibilance, sibilate, sibilation, siffle, sigmatism, siss, sissing, sizz, sizzle, sizzling, sneeze, sneezing, sniff, sniffle, snore, snort, snuff, snuffle, speech defect, speech impediment, spit, splutter, sputter, squash, squelch, squish, sternutation, stertor, swish, talk incoherently, tremor, twang, wheeze, whish, whistle, whistling, white noise, whiz, whoosh, zip
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