Definition of mouthful in US English:


nounPlural mouthfuls

  • 1A quantity of food or drink that fills or can be put in the mouth.

    ‘he took a mouthful of beer’
    ‘savor the flavor of each mouthful’
    • ‘I highly recommend against sneezing when you have a mouthful of chocolate.’
    • ‘Korina swallowed a mouthful of food and looked over at Cat as she sat down on the couch next to Matthew.’
    • ‘Then he took a mouthful of his drink and then put the glass in my face.’
    • ‘Anna dipped her spoon into the bowl and took a mouthful of soup.’
    • ‘The coffee he would accept, but though he tried, he could not swallow a mouthful of food.’
    • ‘A mouthful of peanuts with some salt and vinegar crisps, that works just fine.’
    • ‘There was a twinge of regret inside of her, but she quickly chewed on a mouthful of salad to take her mind off of things.’
    • ‘During the second I was under I swallowed a mouthful of salt water and got plenty in my eyes.’
    • ‘It's not going to be funny when someone who can't have nut products gets a mouthful of the wrong food and goes into shock.’
    • ‘Ideally, no matter how small a journalists' salary, he should not sell his integrity for a mouthful of rice.’
    • ‘Mario introduces Lina to Italian food and soon she is filling up on mouthfuls of pasta and Parmesan.’
    • ‘Adam swallowed a mouthful of stew before responding and I bit my lip not to laugh.’
    • ‘Rocky smiled with a mouthful of food and gave a thumbs up, oblivious to his mother, who was frowning across the table.’
    • ‘She spooned out a mouthful of the fruit and cream extending her arm towards him.’
    • ‘Pete shortly reappeared with a grin and a mouthful of freshly cooked sausage.’
    • ‘He sat back up and pointed to the sandwich as he took a mouthful of apple.’
    • ‘Elissa plonked her books on a space beside her and took a mouthful of rice.’
    • ‘He put the groceries away, drank a mouthful of whiskey, and fell into a dead sleep that would last nearly fifteen hours.’
    • ‘Yes, in the moment of passion and with a mouthful of Chinese food you said you'd be my shield and sword.’
    • ‘As I came to the end of it I burst into tears, without warning, in the middle of a mouthful of grilled cheese sandwich.’
    bite, nibble, taste, bit, piece
    draught, sip, swallow, sup, drop, pull, gulp
    View synonyms
  • 2A long or complicated word or phrase that is difficult to say.

    ‘“Galinsoga” was too much of a mouthful for most nonbotanists’
    • ‘Liitoja was definitely on the cranky side a few years ago when he came up with the title's fatalistic mouthful of words.’
    • ‘It's a nice, short word Tory, unlike Conservative, which is a bit of a mouthful.’
    • ‘Her name is a bit of a mouthful too, so everyone calls her Jen, and she's thirteen.’
    • ‘Lengthy mouthfuls of Latin can be off-putting and difficult to remember for many.’
    • ‘I'm not going to even pretend to understand in any detail how this mouthful of an acronym really works.’
    • ‘St Nicholas Fields Conservation Group is a bit of a mouthful, and becomes the Friends of St Nicholas Fields.’
    • ‘Maybe it was just a mouthful to say, but that was definitely what she would be saying.’
    • ‘In so doing, these writers further increase the girth of their text, pump up the load on their servers, and ensure that the race against mouthfuls of extraneous words will continue until they run out of time.’
    • ‘The title is a bit of a mouthful but don't let that put you off.’
    • ‘It was just that no one was willing to replace a pithy phrase with either an ugly acronym or a yawn-inducing mouthful.’
    tongue-twister, long word, difficult word
    View synonyms


  • give someone a mouthful

    • informal Talk to or shout at someone in an angry, abusive, or severely critical way.

      • ‘On objecting to this I was given a mouthful of verbal abuse by youths who presumably had nothing better to do in the school holidays than make a nuisance of themselves.’
      • ‘Bejaysus but if Libby didn't blow up again and gave her a mouthful of abuse for bein' such an interferin' busybody.’
      • ‘She said: ‘Some of them apologise and move on, but others just give you a mouthful.’’
      • ‘The driver then proceeded to give me a mouthful about how cyclists should be more careful.’
      • ‘I finally get so tired of hearing my name yelled that I stop… fully intending to give him a mouthful.’
      • ‘‘But I did have one woman recently give me a mouthful of abuse telling me I was being cruel to the dog,’ Mrs Bloomfield said.’
      • ‘If you read my story and didn't see your name on my ‘thank you’ list, email me and give me a mouthful!’
      • ‘They'd pass their phone to me and Strawhorn would give me a mouthful.’
      • ‘Your average traffic cop must pull over hundreds of motorists a month, many of whom are going to give him a mouthful.’
      • ‘Eventually, even he couldn't stop me from standing up and giving Megson a mouthful back.’
      • ‘If anyone in her neighbourhood dared to question what I was doing there, or why I took photographs, she gave them a mouthful.’
      • ‘I managed at one time to get to the telephone and ring the Philippine consul in Nicosia, who rang the owners of the taverna and gave them a mouthful.’
  • say a mouthful

    • informal Say something noteworthy.

      • ‘‘That's saying a mouthful,’ I muttered, glaring at Kyle.’
      • ‘What's incontestable is that Keeler said a mouthful, a precept that's as valid as when it left his lips more than a century ago.’
      • ‘When Rahouf sat, he made a choice of conscience that directly impacted no one but sure said a mouthful.’
      • ‘He said a mouthful, I thought, about the Frimley Green spectacle in general.’
      • ‘It is one of Russo's stupidest ideas, and that is saying a mouthful.’
      • ‘The eyes may be the window to your soul, but for a look into your physical health, open wide: Your teeth and gums say a mouthful.’
      • ‘And certainly he said a mouthful, none of it calculated to engender public respect of the particular judge.’
      • ‘He's a boy, firstly, and that's saying a mouthful.’
      • ‘His vocabulary consisted of clichés he'd picked up from former care workers, many of them bizarre or unsavory to start with: ‘cooking with oil’ was one, as was ‘you said a mouthful when you said that.’’
      • ‘I have to give the author of this letter to the Gleaner a warm Jamaican BIG UP, as I think he has said a mouthful here.’