adjective not brave enough or honest enough to say clearly and directly what you really think

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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  • Mealy-mouthed — Meal y mouthed , a. Using soft words; not straightforward; plausible; affectedly or timidly delicate of speech; speaking deviously; unwilling to tell the truth in plain language. Opposite of {frank} or {blunt}. Mealy mouthed philanthropies.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mealy-mouthed — adj not brave enough or honest enough to say clearly and directly what you really think used in order to show disapproval ▪ Most people felt Mr Major fought a pretty mealy mouthed campaign in which radical ideas were either dropped or blunted …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • mealy-mouthed — A mealy mouthed person doesn t say what they mean clearly …   The small dictionary of idiomes

  • mealy-mouthed — afraid to say what one really thinks, 1570s; first element perhaps from O.E. milisc sweet, from P.Gmc. *meduz honey (see MEAD (Cf. mead) (n.1)), which suits the sense, but if the Old English word did not survive long enough to be the source of… …   Etymology dictionary

  • mealy-mouthed — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ reluctant to speak frankly. ORIGIN perhaps from German Mehl im Maule behalten carry meal in the mouth (i.e. be unstraightforward in speech), or related to Latin mel honey …   English terms dictionary

  • mealy-mouthed — [mēl′ēmouthd′, mēl′ēmoutht′] adj. not outspoken or blunt; not willing to state the facts in simple, direct words; euphemistic and insincere …   English World dictionary

  • mealy-mouthed — [[t]mi͟ːlima͟ʊðd[/t]] ADJ GRADED (disapproval) If you say that someone is being mealy mouthed, you are critical of them for being unwilling to speak in a simple or open way because they want to avoid talking directly about something unpleasant.… …   English dictionary

  • mealy-mouthed — meal|y mouthed [ ,mili mauðd, ,mili mauθt ] adjective not willing to express yourself in a simple and direct way, usually in order to hide the truth: Spokesmen have been mealy mouthed in defense of the president …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • mealy-mouthed — adjective prone to speaking evasively, indirectly, or duplicitously; not forthright , The surliness with which the woodchopper speaks of his woods, handling them as indifferently as his axe, is better than the mealy mouthed enthusiasm of the… …   Wiktionary

  • mealy-mouthed —    A mealy mouthed person doesn t say what they mean clearly.   (Dorking School Dictionary) …   English Idioms & idiomatic expressions

  • mealy-mouthed — not brave enough to say what you mean directly and honestly. Strangely enough, although we are getting more mealy mouthed about mental and physical disabilities, we are increasingly frank about bodily functions …   New idioms dictionary

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