read lips

read (one's) lips

1. Literally, to interpret and understand what one says by observing the shapes of the words they form with their lips. Even though I was speaking very softly, Jill could read my lips and knew exactly what I was saying. I can read your lips, but it will help me if you use sign language as well.
2. To pay close attention and listen very carefully to what one says. Usually said as an imperative. A: "Come on, Mom—can I please go out with my friends?" B: "Read my lips—N O means no!" Read my lips—finish your dinner now, or you won't be getting any dessert!
See also: lip, read

read someone's lips

to manage to understand speech by watching and interpreting the movements of the speaker's lips. I couldn't hear her but I could read her lips.
See also: lip, read
References in periodicals archive ?
Billy is deaf and has been raised to read lips and speak but without knowledge of sign language.
He plays a deaf man in the film and she was solicited to help him read lips.
They may wear hearing aids, read lips, or use sign language with their hands
While Schuster can read lips, Kern-Anderson makes it much easier for her to keep up with her peers.
Although his associate, Alexandria Wailes, could both read lips and sign, he had to learn to communicate with the cast on his own.
Conrad wrote that he knew from previous contacts that Toll could read lips.
He learned how to read lips as a toddler; he started signing before he could talk, but once he started talking .
Nevertheless, Manal understands others perfectly well, having been trained to read lips.
There, as he learned how to use Sign Language and read lips, William thrived.
Although standing in a well-lit area and facing the audience can be helpful to those who read lips or use hearing aids, it is not the full solution.
Mobile breathalyser: If a phone can read lips, what about one that can measure booze breath and, if you are over the limit, automatically shut down to stop you drunkenly calling or texting friends, colleagues and bosses (ouch
And while I cannot read lips, I'm sure he was not mouthing "Good morning