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1. Having the mobility of one's tongue restricted by an abnormally short frenum that binds it to the floor of the mouth. We couldn't figure out why our baby was having such trouble breastfeeding, until a specialist finally realized that he was mildly tongue-tied. Your son is severely tongue-tied, a condition that could impact his ability to speak properly if it is not treated soon enough.
2. Incapable of or having difficulty speaking, as due to fear, confusion, shyness, embarrassment, etc. I had a great pitch ready for the board of directors, but I found myself totally tongue-tied when I stepped into the room in front of them. The poor child gets awfully tongue-tied whenever she is confronted by an adult. The shocking event left everyone in the room tongue-tied.
3. Having trouble saying words clearly due to difficult alliteration or pronunciation, as found in tongue twisters. The doctor said the condition is called aceruloplasminemia. Just trying to say it out loud leaves me tongue-tied! In the game, you see who can say the silly rhyming phrase the fastest without getting tongue-tied.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. mod. unable to speak from fear or confusion. (Standard English.) Why do you get tongue-tied in front of a crowd?
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. He was tongue-tied and couldn’t stand up.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.