from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To utter aloud; pronounce: The children said, "Good morning.”
  • transitive v. To express in words: Say what's on your mind.
  • transitive v. To state as one's opinion or judgment; declare: I say let's eat out.
  • transitive v. To state as a determination of fact: It's hard to say who is right in this matter.
  • transitive v. To repeat or recite: said grace.
  • transitive v. To report or maintain; allege.
  • transitive v. To indicate; show: The clock says half past two.
  • transitive v. To give nonverbal expression to; signify or embody: It was an act that said "devotion.”
  • transitive v. To suppose; assume: Let's say that you're right.
  • intransitive v. To make a statement; express oneself: The story must be true because the teacher said so.
  • n. A turn or chance to speak: Having had my say, I sat down.
  • n. The right or power to influence or make a decision: Citizens have a say in the councils of government. All I want is some say in the matter.
  • n. Archaic Something said; a statement.
  • adv. Approximately: There were, say, 500 people present.
  • adv. For instance: a woodwind, say an oboe.
  • interj. Used to express surprise or appeal for someone's attention.
  • idiom I say Used preceding an utterance to call attention to it: I say, do you have the time?
  • idiom I say Used as an exclamation of surprise, delight, or dismay.
  • idiom that is to say In other words.
  • idiom to say nothing of And there is no need to mention. Used to allude to things that fill out an idea or argument: The yard is a mess, to say nothing of the house.
  • idiom you can say that again Slang Used to express strong agreement with what has just been said.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To pronounce.
  • v. To recite.
  • v. To communicate, either verbally or in writing.
  • v. To indicate in a written form.
  • v. to have a common expression; used in singular passive voice or plural active voice to indicate a rumor or well-known fact.
  • v. Let's say; used to mark an example, supposition or hypothesis.
  • interj. Used to gain one's attention before making an inquiry or suggestion; hey
  • n. One's stated opinion or input into a discussion.
  • n. A type of fine cloth similar to serge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Trial by sample; assay; sample; specimen; smack.
  • n. Tried quality; temper; proof.
  • n. Essay; trial; attempt.
  • n. A kind of silk or satin.
  • n. A delicate kind of serge, or woolen cloth.
  • n. A speech; something said; an expression of opinion; a current story; a maxim or proverb.
  • Saw.
  • intransitive v. To speak; to express an opinion; to make answer; to reply.
  • transitive v. To try; to assay.
  • transitive v. To utter or express in words; to tell; to speak; to declare.
  • transitive v. To repeat; to rehearse; to recite; to pronounce.
  • transitive v. To announce as a decision or opinion; to state positively; to assert; hence, to form an opinion upon; to be sure about; to be determined in mind as to.
  • transitive v. To mention or suggest as an estimate, hypothesis, or approximation; hence, to suppose; -- in the imperative, followed sometimes by the subjunctive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To utter, express, declare, or pronounce in words, either orally or in writing; speak.
  • To tell; make known or utter in words.
  • To recount; repeat; rehearse; recite: as, to say a lesson or one's prayers; to say mass; to say grace.
  • To call; declare or suppose to be.
  • To utter as an opinion; decide; judge and determine.
  • To suppose; assume to be true or correct; take for granted: often in an imperative form, in the sense of ‘let us say,’ ‘we may say,’ ‘we shall say’: as, the number left behind was not great, say only five.
  • To gainsay; contradict; answer.
  • Synonyms Say, Speak, Tell, State. Each of these words has its peculiar idiomatic uses. We speak an oration, and tell a story, but do not say either of them. We say prayers or a lesson, but do not speak or tell them, although the one praying may tell his beads. Say is the most common word before a quotation direct or indirect: Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones” (Gen. ii. 23); “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John i. 8). Tell is often exactly synonymous with say to: as, tell (say to) him that I was called away. Speak draws its meanings from the idea of making audible; tell, from that of communicating. Tell is the only one of these words that may express a command. State is often erroneously used for simply saying: as, he stated that he could not come: state always implies detail, as of reasons, particulars; to state a case is to give it with particularity.
  • To speak; declare; assert; express an opinion: as, so he says.
  • To make answer; reply.
  • To assay; test.
  • To essay; attempt; endeavor; try.
  • n. What one has to say; a speech; a story; something said; hence, an affirmation; a declaration; a statement.
  • n. Word; assurance.
  • n. A maxim; a saying; a saw.
  • n. Turn to say something, make a proposition, or reply: as, “It is now my say.”
  • n. Assay; trial by sample; sample; taste.
  • n. A cut made in a dead deer in order to find out how fat it is.
  • n. Tried quality; temper; proof.
  • n. In hunting, to make a cut down the belly of a dead deer in order to see how fat it is.
  • n. A kind of silk or satin.
  • n. A kind of serge. In the sixteenth century it seems to have been a fine thin cloth used for outer garments.
  • n. A strainer for milk.
  • n. An obsolete preterit of see.
  • n. In poker, the turn of a player to declare whether or not he will ante.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. communicate or express nonverbally
  • v. report or maintain
  • v. speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way
  • n. the chance to speak
  • v. give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority
  • v. state as one's opinion or judgement; declare
  • v. utter aloud
  • v. express in words
  • v. recite or repeat a fixed text
  • v. express a supposition
  • v. have or contain a certain wording or form
  • v. indicate


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English seien, from Old English secgan; see sekw-3 in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English seyen, seggen, from Old English secġan ("to say, speak"), from Proto-Germanic *sagjanan (“to say”), from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷ-, *sekʷe-, *skʷē- (“to tell, talk”). Cognate with West Frisian sizze ("to say"), Dutch zeggen ("to say"), German sagen ("to say"), Swedish säga ("to say").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French saie, from Latin saga, plural of sagum ("military cloak").



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  • 18. In hunting, to make a cut down the belly of a dead deer in order to see how fat it is. --Century Dictionary

    April 26, 2011