bite your tongue | hold your tongue

This page is about the idiom bite your tongue | hold your tongue


If you bite your tongue, or hold your tongue, you force yourself not to say something you really want to say.

For example

  • I wanted to tell Carlos he was being stupid, but I bit my tongue and just sat there.

  • You're going to have to learn to hold your tongue instead of saying whatever comes into your head.

These two idioms have the same meaning, though "hold your tongue" is more old-fashioned than "bite your tongue".

Quick Quiz

You really have to hold your tongue, or bite your tongue, when you're being spoken to by

a. some friends at a party

b. a waiter in a restaurant

c. a judge in a courtroom

Idiom of the Day

Contributor: Matt Errey