Definition of bite one's tongue in US English:

bite one's tongue


  • Make a desperate effort to avoid saying something.

    ‘I had to bite my tongue and accept his explanation’
    • ‘Julian gaped at him for a moment before abruptly leaving the office, biting his tongue to avoid saying things he wanted to but which would surely cost him his job.’
    • ‘Start spreadin' the news… loudly and without biting your tongue: New York shall rise again, not through war, but by speech.’
    • ‘For example, when one of the recurring characters gets into a huge fight with her two-timing boyfriend, Touma found himself biting his tongue.’
    • ‘She bit her tongue in a large effort not to say what had floated across her mind.’
    • ‘Parents should bite their tongue and make an effort to get along with a teacher.’
    • ‘Don't know if you can tell or not but I've got the blogging urge tonight, but as most of the stuff I want to say involves other people I am biting my tongue somewhat.’
    • ‘I often felt like I had to bite my tongue and take deep breaths to avoid berating them for their complete lack of common sense or perspective.’
    • ‘I spent a lot of time biting my tongue, which isn't easy for me.’
    • ‘My friend looked over at me, biting his tongue and furrowing his eyebrows.’
    • ‘It is certainly not the kind of situation where confrontation is advisable - and that is why our seething guide bites his tongue and suppresses the urge to curse at their thoughtless conduct.’