bite (one's) tongue

(redirected from bite my tongue)

bite (one's) tongue

1. Literally, to accidentally pinch one's tongue with one's teeth. My daughter started crying after she bit her tongue.
2. To stop oneself from saying something (often something potentially inappropriate, hurtful, or offensive). I had to bite my tongue as my sister gushed about her new boyfriend yet again.
See also: bite, tongue

bite one's tongue

 
1. Lit. to bite down on one's tongue by accident. Ouch! I bit my tongue!
2. Fig. to struggle not to say something that you really want to say. I had to bite my tongue to keep from telling her what I really thought. I sat through that whole silly conversation biting my tongue.
See also: bite, tongue

bite one's tongue

Refrain from speaking out, as in A new grandmother must learn to bite her tongue so as not to give unwanted advice, or I'm sure it'll rain during graduation.-Bite your tongue! This term alludes to holding the tongue between the teeth in an effort not to say something one might regret. Shakespeare used it in 2 Henry VI (1:1): "So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue." Today it is sometimes used as a humorous imperative, as in the second example, with the implication that speaking might bring bad luck. [Late 1500s] Also see hold one's tongue.
See also: bite, tongue

bite your tongue

COMMON If you bite your tongue, you do not say something that you would like to say. All I can do is to bite my tongue if I want to keep my job.
See also: bite, tongue

bite your tongue

make a desperate effort to avoid saying something.
See also: bite, tongue

bite your ˈtongue

stop yourself from saying something that might upset somebody or cause an argument, although you want to speak: I didn’t believe her explanation but I bit my tongue. OPPOSITE: give somebody a piece of your mind
See also: bite, tongue
References in classic literature ?
I tried to go to sleep, but the jolting made me bite my tongue, and I soon began to ache all over.
Do I overstep my boundaries and hurt my mother by suggesting she suffers from some sort of dementia, or bite my tongue and hope it's nothing?
I expected some long drawn out technical answer on swing techniques and equipment but he simply said: "I bite my tongue.
Underdog, Liquid Confidence and the finisher Bite My Tongue were obviously what they had flocked to South London for.
In deference to her age I continued to bite my tongue and sat down.
He said: "I'll try to bite my tongue and have a think about what I'm going to say.
I also am clear that few folks struggling with these identity issues are able or willing to give voice to that fact, so I bite my tongue.
I'm not going to bite my tongue," Baraka lectured to the youth at the Newark convention.
SIR - I have managed to bite my tongue (or pen) for a week regarding the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, but now I feel I must write.
It will feel good not to have to bite my tongue so often.
I can shut my lids on angels, bite my tongue, Withhold my breath, swallow unbidden words Before they form.
She's very opinionated and as time goes by, I find it harder and harder to bite my tongue.
I have got to bite my tongue and just try to work hard to get back in.
Once the baby is born she might well change her mind, but right now, I'd bite my tongue and go along with her wishes.
But my son worships her and I was careful never to say anything, although many a time had to bite my tongue.