Lip-sync and lip-synch

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Lip-sync and lip-synch are two acceptable spelling of the same term. We will examine the definition of the term lip-sync or lip-synch, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Lip-sync means to move one’s mouth in coordination with a pre-recorded song or soundtrack. The words lip-sync and lip-synch are abbreviations of the term lip synchronization. Lip-syncing may be used in film, when dubbing English into a foreign film or simply inserting rewritten dialogue into a scene. Most people associate lip-syncing with music. Originally, lip-syncing was used in television, where it was more cost-effective to simply play a pre-recorded track rather than present musicians playing live. As time went on, lip-syncing was used to disguise a lack of talent. In the American movie Singin’ in the Rain, a famous but untalented movie actress named Lina Lamont lip-syncs to the songs sung by Kathy Selden. Milli Vanilli is a singing duo that was stripped of its Grammy award when it was discovered that the group had lip-synced their songs. Jimmy Fallon of the Tonight Show has popularized the practice with his lip-sync battles featuring celebrities such as Chrissy Tiegan, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Channing Tatum. Lip-syncing is somewhat of a scandal when it involves substituting one person’s voice for another’s. However, lip-syncing is most often used in music today when it is not practical to employ live musicians or the when the singer is performing a rigorous dance routine while singing. Lip-sync and lip-synch are intransitive verbs, which are verbs that do not take objects. Related terms are lip-syncs or lip-synchs, lip-synced or lip-synched, lip-syncing or lip-synching, lip-syncer or lip-syncher. Note that these words are hyphenated.


While one might imagine it’d be tough to be so close, yet so far from one of the most iconic accomplishments in your sport, Oosthuizen took the result in stride, posting a beautiful, and honestly quite moving lip-sync rendition of “Rise Up” by Andra Day to his Twitter account following his latest runner-up finish. (The Business Insider)

But this isn’t a reliable tactic since a majority of current rock acts mix in prerecorded vocals with real-time singing, allowing performers to lip-synch through some of their gigs or simply choose not to even do that if they’re also doing high-energy dancing (as Gaga does). (The Sacramento Business Journal)