Is there a word that can be used to describe the act of speaking over another person? Looking particularly to describe the act in the context of a debate where a speaker is unable to respond due to repeated interjections.

  • The words that come to mind are to interrupt, hinder, or impede another person. – Othya Apr 20 '15 at 17:33
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    What's wrong with 'speaking over'? – Mitch Apr 20 '15 at 17:50
  • Looking for a stronger expression, something with a more negative context, perhaps. – kavmeister Apr 21 '15 at 12:21

Best fit for this case :


Meaning : Shouting to interrupt a speech with which you disagree.

It has negative connotations.

Alternatively :


References :



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    Ooh! My TOTAL bad Prem! I deleted my comment and have upvoted the answer - and am further educated by that primarily BE definition of barracking! :-/ – Kristina Lopez Apr 20 '15 at 18:36
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    @KristinaLopez , no problem , "all is well that ends well" !!!! – Prem Apr 20 '15 at 18:40

Shouting down? (If at a noisy public meeting) Drowning out? Smothering in interruptions? Norwegian has an expression, literally "to talk in someone's mouth". That fits so perfectly that it's a pity English doesn't have it – unless you want to start a fashion.

  • Googling didn't help, would love to know this word. Why should Germans have all the compounding fun?! – kavmeister Apr 21 '15 at 12:16
  • @kaben: the Norwegian expression isn't a big compound, but the phrase å snakke i munnen til noen, meaning given above. There isn't a verbal noun available. – David Pugh Apr 21 '15 at 13:55
  • Interesting. Then what's the Norwegian equivalent for "putting words in someone's mouth" and it's literal translation? – kavmeister Apr 22 '15 at 13:37
  • Its literal translation would be å legge ord i munnen til noen, as you see quite different, but I don't think there is an indigenous phrase for what the British police call "verballing" somebody. I've been speaking bad French rather than Norwegian for seven months, so I might be wrong about that. – David Pugh Apr 22 '15 at 19:01
drown out
To make it impossible to hear the sound of something or someone by muffling, masking, or overwhelming it with a louder sound. [The Free Dictionary]

- shouting to interrupt a speech with which you disagree


Surely Mitch (see answers) is right:

speaking over others

is quite appropriate:

Communication for Business and the Professions: Strategie ... Page 96 Judith Dwyer - 2012 - ‎Preview

This attention can be demanded by speaking loudly, speaking over others, using attention-seeking body movements, and ignoring feedback and the views of others.

  • It's almost not strong enough an expression. I want to convey a distaste with the practice so I was seeking something with a more negative connotation. – kavmeister Apr 21 '15 at 12:20

It actually doesn't mean to speak over someone, but this word in terms of the elements that make it up would be perfect if it didn't already have a different meaning:


To talk too much or too long about (something).



To speak too much; to use too many words.

Maybe one of these could be used and evolved over time to mean to talk/speak over someone, like a lot of words change meaning over time. Just requires enough people to start using it that way. 😉

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