mince(redirected from mincing)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
not mince (one's) words
To speak very bluntly and directly, without regard to whether one's words may upset someone. Wow, your aunt really doesn't mince her words. Is my sweatshirt really that ugly? Let me know what you think of the story when you're done, and, please, don't mince your words.
mince (one's) words
To speak vaguely or indirectly. Often used in the negative to convey the opposite, meaning that one speaks without regard to whether their words may upset someone. Can be used with or without a possessive. I hate to watch debates, which are really just two-hour marathons of talking heads mincing words. Wow, your aunt really doesn't mince her words. Is my sweatshirt really that ugly? Let me know what you think of the story when you're done, and, please, don't mince words.
mince (one's) words
to soften the effect of one's words. Tell me what you think, and don't mince your words. A frank person never minces words.
Also, mince words. Moderate or restrain one's language to be polite or avoid giving offense. Today these phrases are nearly always put negatively, as in Not to mince matters, I feel he should resign, or Don't mince words-say what you mean. The usage dates from the mid-1500s and transfers cutting something such as meat into small pieces to minimizing the harsh impact of words.
thick as mincemainly SCOTTISH
If someone is as thick as mince, they are very stupid. No point in expecting any real help from her department — most of them are as thick as mince. Well, what do you expect? She's as thick as mince.
not mince your wordsor
not mince words
COMMON If you do not mince your words or do not mince words, you state your opinions clearly and directly, even if it offends people. She told him exactly where he'd gone wrong and she didn't mince her words. You always know you'll get the truth from Dan. He's not one to mince his words. I tell it like it is. I don't mince words.