American English

Definition of lip noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] either of the two soft edges at the opening to the mouth The assistant pursed her lips. your upper/lower/top/bottom lip She kissed him on the lips. Not a drop of alcohol passed my lips (= I didn't drink any). Topic CollocationsPhysical AppearanceA person may be described as having:eyes (bright) blue/green/(dark/light) brown/hazel eyes deep-set/sunken/bulging/protruding eyes small/beady/sparkling/twinkling/shifty eyes piercing/penetrating/steely eyes bloodshot/watery/puffy eyes bushy/thick/dark/raised/arched eyebrows long/dark/thick/curly/false eyelashes/lashesface a flat/bulbous/pointed/sharp/snub nose a straight/a pointy/a Roman/an aquiline nose full/thick/thin/pouty lips dry/chapped/cracked lips flushed/rosy/red/ruddy/pale cheeks soft/chubby/sunken cheeks white/perfect/crooked/protruding teeth a large/high/broad/wide forehead a strong/weak/pointed/double chin a long/full/bushy/wispy beard a full/thin goatee a long/thin/bushy/droopy/handlebar/pencil mustachehair and skin pale/fair/olive/dark/tanned skin dry/oily/smooth/rough/leathery/wrinkled skin a dark/pale/light/sallow/ruddy/olive/swarthy/clear complexion deep/fine/small/facial wrinkles blonde/blond/fair/(light/dark) brown/(jet-)black/auburn/red/ginger/gray hair straight/curly/wavy/frizzy/spiky hair thick/thin/fine/bushy/thinning hair dyed/bleached/soft/silky/dry/greasy/shiny hair long/short/shoulder-length/cropped hair a bald/balding/shaved head a receding hairline a bald patch/spot a side/center partbody a long/short/thick/slender/ (disapproving) scrawny neck broad/narrow/sloping/rounded/hunched shoulders a bare/broad/muscular/small/large chest a flat/round/swollen/bulging stomach a small/tiny/narrow/slim/slender/28-inch waist big/wide/narrow/slim hips a straight/bent/arched/broad/hairy back thin/slender/muscular arms big/large/small/manicured/calloused/gloved hands long/short/fat/slender/delicate/bony fingers long/muscular/hairy/shapely/ (informal) (often disapproving) skinny/spindly legs muscular/chubby/ (informal) (disapproving) flabby thighs/calves big/little/small/dainty/wide/narrow/bare feet a good/slim/slender/hourglass figure be of slim/medium/average/large/athletic/stocky build
  2. 2-lipped (in adjectives) having the type of lips mentioned thin-lipped thick-lipped see also tight-lipped
  3. 3[countable] lip (of something) the edge of a container or a hollow place in the ground synonym rim He ran his finger around the lip of the cup. Lava bubbled a few feet below the lip of the crater.
  4. 4[uncountable] (informal) words spoken to someone that are rude and show a lack of respect for that person Don't let him give you any lip! I've just about had enough of your lip!
  5. Idioms
    bite your lip
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    to stop yourself from saying something or from showing an emotion
      lick/smack your lips
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    1. 1to move your tongue over your lips, especially before eating something good
    2. 2(informal) to show that you are excited about something and want it to happen soon They were licking their lips at the thought of clinching the deal.
    my lips are sealed
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    used to say that you will not repeat someone's secret to other people
      not pass your lips
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    1. 1if words do not pass your lips, you say nothing
    2. 2if food or drink does not pass your lips, you eat or drink nothing
    on everyone's lips
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    if something is on everyone's lips, they are all talking about it
    read my lips (informal)
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    used to tell someone to listen carefully to what you are saying Read my lips: no new taxes (= I promise there will be no new taxes).
    (keep) a stiff upper lip
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    to keep calm and hide your feelings when you are in pain or in a difficult situation He was taught to keep a stiff upper lip and never to cry in public. Their reaction contrasts sharply with the stiff upper lip of the English.
    there's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip (saying)
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    nothing is completely certain until it really happens because things can easily go wrong
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: lip