Mince words

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Mince words is an idiom based on an archaic definition. We will examine the meaning of the idiom mince words, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.

To mince words means to obfuscate, to speak vaguely, to be indirect. The negative, don’t mince words or let’s not mince words, is more commonly used as an admonishment to speak directly and plainly. The idiom mince words is based on an archaic definition for the word mince: to make light of something or to deliver criticism gently. Related phrases are minces words, minced words, mincing words.


She also didn’t mince words when she fired back at these subscribers. (The International Business Times)

The feds didn’t mince words when they leveled charges against Houston billionaire Robert Brockman, who is accused of taking $2 billion through an elaborate scheme. (The Houston Chronicle)

Tracy Ford doesn’t mince words explaining his motivations for lobbying to get high school football players back on the field. (The Seattle Times)