Lip: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Female lips
Latin labia oris
Artery inferior labial, superior labial
Vein inferior labial, superior labial
Nerve frontal, infraorbital

Lips are a visible body part at the mouth of humans and many animals. Lips are soft, movable, and serve as the opening for food intake and in the articulation of sound and speech. Human lips are a tactile sensory organ, and can be erogenous when used in kissing and other acts of intimacy.


Anatomical basics of the human lip

One differentiates between the upper (Labium superius) and lower lip (Labium inferius). The lower lip is usually somewhat larger. The border between the lips and the surrounding skin is referred to as the vermillion border, or simply the vermilion. The vertical groove on the upper lip is known as the philtrum.

The skin of the lip, with three to five cellular layers, is very thin compared to typical face skin, which has up to 16 layers. With light skin color, the lip skin contains fewer melanocytes (cells which produce melanin pigment , which give skin its color). Because of this, the blood vessels appear through the skin of the lips, which leads to their notable red coloring. With darker skin color [Black Like A Nigga ;Ppppp] this effect is less prominent, as in this case the skin of the lips contains more melanin and thus is visually darker. The skin of the lip forms the border between the exterior skin of the face, and the interior mucous membrane of the inside of the mouth.

The lip skin is not hairy, and does not have sweat glands or sebaceous glands. Therefore it does not have the usual protection layer of sweat and body oils which keep the skin smooth, inhibit pathogens, and regulate warmth. For these reasons, the lips dry out faster and become chapped more easily.

Anatomy in detail

The skin of the lips is stratified squamous epithelium. The mucous membrane is represented by a large area in the sensory cortex, and is therefore highly sensitive. The Frenulum Labii Inferioris is the frenulum of the lower lip. The Frenulum Labii Superioris is the frenulum of the upper lip.

Sensory nerve supply

Blood supply

The facial artery is one of the six non-terminal branches of the external carotid artery. It supplies the lips by its superior and inferior labial branches, each of which bifurcate and anastomose with their companion artery from the other side.

Muscles acting on the lips

The muscles acting on the lips are considered part of the muscles of facial expression. All muscles of facial expression are derived from the mesoderm of the second pharyngeal arch, and are therefore supplied (motor supply) by the nerve of the second pharyngeal arch, the facial nerve (7th cranial nerve). The muscles of facial expression are all specialized members of the panniculus carnosus, which attach to the dermis and so wrinkle, or dimple the overlying skin. Functionally, the muscles of facial expression are arranged in groups around the orbits, nose and mouth.

The muscles acting on the lips:

Functions of the lips

Food intake

Because they have their own muscles and bordering muscles, the lips are easily movable. Lips are used for eating functions, like holding food or to get it in the mouth. In addition, lips serve to close the mouth airtight shut, to hold food and drink inside, and to keep out unwanted objects. Through making a narrow funnel with the lips, the suction of the mouth is increased. This suction is essential for babies to breast feed. Lips can also be used to suck in other contexts, such as sucking on a straw to drink liquids.


The lips serve for creating different sounds - mainly the labial, bilabial, and labiodental consonant sounds - and thus create an important part of the speech apparatus. The lips enable whistling and the performing of wind and brass instruments such as the trumpet, clarinet, flute and saxophone.

Tactile organ

The lip has many nerve endings and reacts as part of the tactile (touch) senses. Lips are very sensitive to touch, warmth, and cold. It is therefore an important aid for exploring unknown objects for babies and toddlers.

Erogenous zone

Because of their high number of nerve endings, the lips are an erogenous zone. The lips therefore play a crucial role in kissing and other acts of intimacy.

A woman's lips are also a visible expression of her fertility. In studies performed on the science of human attraction, psychologists have concluded that a woman's facial and sexual attractiveness is closely linked to the makeup of her hormones during puberty and development. Contrary to the effects of testosterone on a man's facial structure, the effects of a woman's oestrogen levels serve to maintain a relatively "childlike" and youthful facial structure during puberty and during final maturation. It has been shown that the more oestrogen a woman has, the larger her eyes and the fuller her lips. Surveys performed by sexual psychologists have also found that universally, men find a woman's full lips to be more sexually attractive than lips that are less so.[1] A woman's lips are therefore sexually attractive to males because they serve as a biological indicator of a woman's health and fertility. As such, a woman's lipstick (or collagen lip enhancement) takes advantage of this fact by "tricking" men into thinking that a woman has more oestrogen than she actually has, and thus that she is more fertile and attractive.[2]

Lip size is linked to sexual attraction in both men and women. Women are attracted to men with masculine lips, that are more middle size and not too big or too small; they are to be rugged and sensual. In general, the researchers found that a small nose, big eyes and voluptuous lips are sexually attractive both in men and women. [3]

Facial expressions

The lips visibly express emotions such as a smile or frown. Lips can also be made pouty when whining, or perky to be provocative.

Symbolic meaning

Lips are often viewed as a symbol for sensuality and sexuality. This has many origins; above all, the lips are a very sensitive erogenous and tactile organ. Furthermore, in many cultures of the world, a woman's mouth and lips are veiled because of their representative association with the vulva, and because of their role as a woman's secondary sexual organ [4].

As part of the mouth, the lips are also associated with the symbolism associated with the mouth as orifice by which food is taken in. The lips are also linked symbolically to neonatal psychology (see for example oral stage of the psychology according to Sigmund Freud).

Changes to the lip

  • One of the most frequent changes of the lips is a blue coloring due to cyanosis; the blood contains less oxygen, and thus has a dark red to blue color, which shows through the thin skin. Cyanosis is the reason why corpses sometimes have blue lips. In cold weather cyanosis can appear, so especially in the winter, blue lips may not be an uncommon sight.
  • Lips can (temporarily) swell. The reasons for this are varied and can be from sexual stimulation, injuries and side effects of medications, or misalignment of teeth.
  • Cracks or splits in the angles of the lips could be the result of an inflammation of the lips, Angular cheilitis.


As an organ of the body, the lip can be a focus of disease or show symptoms of a disease:

  • Lip herpes (technically Herpes labialis, a form of herpes simplex) is a viral infection which appears in the formation of painful blisters at the lip. It is also commonly known as a cold sore.
  • Carcinoma (a malignant cancer that arises from epithelial cells) at the lips, is caused predominantly by using tobacco and overexposure of sunlight. To a lesser extent, it could also come from lack of oral hygiene or poor fitting dentures. Alcohol appears to increase the carcinoma risk associated with tobacco use.

In other animals

In most vertebrates, the lips are relatively unimportant folds of tissue lying just outside the jaws. However, in mammals, they become much more prominent, being separated from the jaws by a deep cleft. They are also more mobile in mammals than in other groups, since it is only in this group that they have any attached muscles. In some teleost fish, the lips may be modified to carry sensitive barbels. In birds and turtles, the lips are hard and keratinous, forming a solid beak.[5]

Additional images

See also


  1. ^ "Attractive women tend to have higher estrogen levels". Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  2. ^ "Why do men find big lips and little noses so sexy? I'll paint you a picture - Comment - Times Online".,,1072-1894256,00.html. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  3. ^ "Lip size key to sexual attraction". Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  4. ^ Valsiner, Jaan (2000). Culture and Human Development. Sage Publications, Ltd. pp. 134–136. 
  5. ^ Romer, Alfred Sherwood; Parsons, Thomas S. (1977). The Vertebrate Body. Philadelphia, PA: Holt-Saunders International. pp. 297. ISBN 0-03-910284-X. 

Further reading

External links

1911 encyclopedia

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Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also lip-





From Middle English, from Old English lippa, with various Germanic cognates (see Translations), and probably also Latin labium




countable and uncountable; plural lips

lip (countable and uncountable; plural lips)

  1. (countable) Either of the two fleshy protrusions around the opening of the mouth.
  2. (countable) A part of the body that resembles a lip, such as the edge of a wound or the labia.
  3. (countable) The rim of an open container.
  4. (slang, uncountable) backtalk, verbal impertinence.
    Don’t give me any lip!


Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
  • German: Lippe f. (de), Rand m., Unverschämtheit f.
  • Latvian: lūpa
  • Swahili: mdomo sg
  • Telugu: పెదవి (pedavi), అంచు (amchu)


lip (comparative more lip, superlative most lip)


more lip

most lip

  1. labial, produced using the lips
  2. insincere, murmured merely trough the lips


to lip

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to lip (third-person singular simple present lips, present participle liping, simple past and past participle liped)

  1. To touch with the lips, notably kiss or lick, lap the lips against something
  2. To utter verbally
  3. To simulate speech merely by lip-movement, as suffices for a lip-reader
  4. (sports) to make a golf ball hit the lip of the cup, without dropping in




lip f. (plural lippen, diminutive lipje, diminutive plural lipjes)

  1. Lip (part of the mouth)
  2. Lip (of a container)

Related terms




  1. Abbreviation of lipiec; (July)


Alternative forms


From Proto-Slavic *lěpъ.



  1. (Chakavian, Ikavian) nice, pretty
    Pasite se, ovce mile,
    sve ste lipe, sve ste bile
    Tad se usčudiše svi, vidiv Juditu,
    toko lipa biše i u takovu svitu.
    Ovog zaručnika, lipa, mila, srićna,
    imati jest dika, srića, radost vična.

Bible wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From BibleWiki

besides its literal sense (Isa 37:29, etc.), is used in the original (saphah) metaphorically for an edge or border, as of a cup (1 Kg 7:26), a garment (Ex 28:32), a curtain (26:4), the sea (Gen 22:17), the Jordan (2Kg 2:13). To "open the lips" is to begin to speak (Job 11:5); to "refrain the lips" is to keep silence (Ps 409; 1 Pet 3:10). The "fruit of the lips" (Heb 13:15) is praise, and the "calves of the lips" thank-offerings (Hos 14:2). To "shoot out the lip" is to manifest scorn and defiance (Ps 227). Many similar forms of expression are found in Scripture.

This entry includes text from Easton's Bible Dictionary, 1897.

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Simple English

Human lips

The Lips are a body part around the mouth. There is a (usually larger) lower lip, and a smaller upper lip. They help us to eat, touch and speak.

Lips also show emotions.

There are diseases that can affect the lips, for example herpes simplex. Someone can get this disease by kissing or having oral sex.

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