Definition of stammer in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈstamər/


[no object]
1Speak with sudden involuntary pauses and a tendency to repeat the initial letters of words.
Example sentences
  • Michael O'Shea, who is over the McGuire Programme's Waterford support group, said the programme provided help and support to people with this speech problem by teaching them a technique that enables them to speak without stammering.
  • Frequent headaches may be independent, but because they make you tense, and you have a tendency to stammer, you probably do so during a headache.
  • We are suddenly, when we stammer and pause, in a position to gauge the difference language makes, the revelation that if we cannot name something there is a real sense in which we do not have it.
stutter, stumble over one's words, hesitate, falter, pause, halt, splutter
1.1 [with object] Utter (words) with a stammer: I stammered out my history [with direct speech]: “I ... I can’t,” Isabel stammered
More example sentences
  • ‘Yes we met at the Farquar ball a couple of months before,’ Bertie said shocked that he did not stammer one word in that sentence.
  • No strings, they'd assured me as I stammered my thanks.
  • He stammers excuses, she is in the background yelling and he is calling her names.


[in singular]
A tendency to stammer: as a young man, he had a dreadful stammer
More example sentences
  • Hard to believe, but the effort in Bird's voice stems from a childhood stammer.
  • There might be a slight stammer but otherwise the speech will seem normal.
  • They highlighted the fact that many famous people with a stammer, including Winston Churchill and Marilyn Monroe, managed to overcome their speech defect.



Pronunciation: /ˈstam(ə)rər/
Example sentences
  • At an open day promoting the McGuire Programme, which helps stammerers fight the speech condition, the former Bradford Cathedral chorister from East Bowling revealed he now delighted in giving media interviews and loved speaking.
  • Music was a vital escape route for Stephen, but recently, a new ground-breaking programme has been helping stammerers like Stephen worldwide.
  • Like many stammerers, Anthony would walk up to the bar and ask for a drink he didn't want, just because the name tripped off his tongue slightly more easily than that of his choice.


Example sentences
  • And it's almost always the brand-new people who will look at me after a session with that blown-away expression on their face and say, stammeringly, ‘That was great.’
  • Taken aback, she stammeringly asked them, ‘Are you sure your commanding officer sent you to the right address?’
  • After much persuasion he consented to get up; and though he spoke stammeringly, and though the audience was made up of men who favoured slavery as well as of those who opposed it, his success was great.


Late Old English stamerian; related to stumble. The noun dates from the late 18th century.

Words that rhyme with stammer

Alabama, clamour (US clamor), crammer, gamma, glamour (US glamor), gnamma, grammar, hammer, jammer, lamber, mamma, rammer, shammer, slammer, yammer

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: stam·mer

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