Meaning: (of a deaf person) understand speech from observing a speaker's lip movements.
Related signs: LIPREAD.
An average skilled lipreader might be able to lipread up to 30-35% with a guesswork for the rest of it. More on lipreading.
"By the way, learning to read lips is grossly offensive. It's like asking an amputee to wiggle their toes." -- Joshua McKenzie (a comment on some blog)
Hearing: "Can you lipread?"
Deaf: "No, can you handread?"
Hearing (nervously chuckling): No.
Deaf kids say the darndest things, too. "My deaf child and I were in a swimming pool and her cat was walking around the edge of the pool meowing at her. I told her he was meowing and she told me 'I know, I can read his lips.'" -- Peggy Mills, USA. Email, February 27, 2000.
Filter words: Enter a keyword in the search box to see a list of available words with the "All" selection. Click on the blue link to look up the word.
Alphabetical letters: It's useful for 1) a single-letter word (such as A, B, etc.) and 2) very short words (e.g. "to", "he", etc.) to narrow down the words and pages in the list. First, enter the first letter in the search box, then select the alphetical letter (and page number if needed), and click on the blue link.
Don't forget to click back to "All" if you search another word.
Add a Word: This dictionary is not exhaustive; ASL signs are constantly added to the dictionary. If you don't find a word/sign, you can send your request via the orange feedback box.
A number of some "Add a Word" words are sometimes received that are *already* available in the dictonary. Users sometimes overlook the words. Double check, check page numbers, check spelling. If a word is requested that is already in the dictonary, explain a meaning (e.g. "as in").
Use the present verbs and base words. If you look for "said", look up the word "say". ASL has its own present/future/past structure in sentences. Likewise, if you look for an adjective word, try the noun or vice versa. E.g. The ASL signs for French and France are the same.
Videos: The first video may be NOT the answer you're looking for. There are several signs for different meanings, contexts, and/or variations. Browsing all the down to the next search box is highly recommended.
Regional variation: Some ASL signs have regional variations across North America. Common variations are included, but specifically local variations are not included. Interact with your local community to learn their variations.
Inflection: Many ASL words, especially verbs, in the dictionary are a "base"; be aware that many of them are grammatically inflectable within ASL sentences.
Contextual meaning: These ASL signs in the dictionary may not mean the same in different contexts and/or ASL sentences. You will see some examples in video sentences.
ASL is very much alive and indefinitely constructable as any spoken language. The best way to use ASL right is to immerse in daily interaction with Ameslan people (ASLers or ASLians).