American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To utter words or articulate sounds with ordinary speech modulation; talk.
- v. To convey thoughts, opinions, or emotions orally.
- v. To express oneself.
- v. To be on speaking terms: They are no longer speaking.
- v. To deliver an address or lecture: The mayor spoke at the rally.
- v. To make a statement in writing: The biography speaks of great loneliness.
- v. To act as spokesperson: spoke for the entire staff.
- v. To convey a message by nonverbal means: Actions speak louder than words.
- v. To be expressive: spoke with her eyes.
- v. To be appealing: His poetry speaks to one's heart.
- v. To make a reservation or request. Often used with for: Is this dance spoken for? I spoke for the last slice of pizza.
- v. To produce a characteristic sound: The drums spoke.
- v. To give off a sound on firing. Used of guns or cannon.
- v. To make communicative sounds.
- v. To give an indication or a suggestion: His manners spoke of good upbringing.
- v. To articulate in a speaking voice: spoke words of wisdom.
- v. To converse in or be able to converse in (a language): speaks German.
- v. To express aloud; tell: speak the truth.
- v. To express in writing.
- v. Nautical To hail and communicate with (another vessel) at sea.
- v. To convey by nonverbal means: His eyes spoke volumes.
- speak out To talk freely and fearlessly, as about a public issue.
- speak up To speak loud enough to be audible.
- speak up To speak without fear or hesitation.
- idiom. so to speak In a manner of speaking: can't see the forest for the trees, so to speak.
- idiom. speak down to To speak condescendingly to: She never spoke down to her audience.
- idiom. to speak of Worthy of mention: There's nothing new to speak of.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To use articulate utterance in the tones of the speaking-voice, in distinction from those of the singing-voice; exert the faculty of speech in uttering words for the expression of thought.
- To make an oral address, as before a magistrate, a tribunal, a public assembly, or a company; deliver a speech, discourse, argument, plea, or the like: as, to speak for or against a person or a cause in court or in a legislature.
- To make oral communication or mention; talk; converse: as, to speak with a stranger; to speak of or about something; they do not speak to each other.
- To communicate ideas by written or printed words; make mention or tell in recorded speech.
- To make communication by any intelligible sound, action, or indication; impart ideas or information by any means other than speech or writing; give expression or intimation.
- Of an organ-pipe, to emit or utter a tone; sound.
- Nautical, to make a stirring and lapping sound in driving through the water: said of a ship.
- To bark when ordered: said of dogs.
- A person with whom one is only sufficiently acquainted to interchange formal salutations or indifferent conversation when meeting casually.
- To afford an indication of; intimate; denote.
- To take or make account of; mention as notable or of consequence; deserve mention.
- To admonish or rebuke.
- Synonyms Speak, Talk. Speak is more general in meaning than talk. Thus, a man may speak by uttering a single word, whereas to talk is to utter words consecutively; so a man may be able to speak without being able to talk. Speak is also more formal in meaning: as, to speak before an audience; while talk implies a conversational manner of speaking.
- To utter orally and articulately; express with the voice; enunciate.
- To declare; utter; make known by speech; tell, announce, or express in uttered words.
- To use in oral utterance; express one's self in the speech or tongue of: as, a person may read a language which he cannot speak.
- To accost or address in speech; specifically (nautical), to accost at sea; hail and hold communication with by the voice, as a passing vessel.
- To say, either in speech or in writing; use as a form of speech.
- To produce by means or as a result of speech; bring about or into being by utterance; call forth.
- To mention as; speak of as being; call.
- To make known as if by speech; give speaking evidence of; indicate; show to be; declare.
- Synonyms Tell, State, etc. See say.
- v. intransitive To communicate with one's voice, to say words out loud.
- v. intransitive To have a conversation.
- v. by extension To communicate or converse by some means other than orally, such as writing or facial expressions.
- v. intransitive To deliver a message to a group; to deliver a speech.
- v. transitive To be able to communicate in a language.
- v. transitive To utter.
- v. transitive To communicate (some fact or feeling); to bespeak, to indicate.
- v. informal, transitive To understand (as though it were a language).
- n. language, jargon, or terminology used uniquely in a particular environment or group.
- n. dated a low class bar, a speakeasy.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To utter words or articulate sounds, as human beings; to express thoughts by words.
- v. To express opinions; to say; to talk; to converse.
- v. To utter a speech, discourse, or harangue; to adress a public assembly formally.
- v. To discourse; to make mention; to tell.
- v. To give sound; to sound.
- v. To convey sentiments, ideas, or intelligence as if by utterance.
- v. To utter with the mouth; to pronounce; to utter articulately, as human beings.
- v. To utter in a word or words; to say; to tell; to declare orally.
- v. To declare; to proclaim; to publish; to make known; to exhibit; to express in any way.
- v. To talk or converse in; to utter or pronounce, as in conversation.
- v. To address; to accost; to speak to.
- v. use language
- v. express in speech
- v. give a speech to
- v. make a characteristic or natural sound
- v. exchange thoughts; talk with
- From Middle English speken ("to speak"), from Old English specan ("to speak"), alteration of earlier sprecan ("to speak"), from Proto-Germanic *sprekanan (“to speak, make a sound”), from Proto-Indo-European *spreg- (“to make a sound, utter, speak”). Cognate with West Frisian sprekke, Dutch spreken ("to speak"), German sprechen ("to speak"), Albanian shpreh ("to utter, voice, express"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English speken, from Old English sprecan, specan. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“_Take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak_.”
“To speak, is not to think logically; but to _think logically_ is, at the same time, to _speak_.”
“And finally, all the while he is urged to speak, _speak_, _SPEAK_ as he is applying to his own methods, in his own _personal_ way, the principles he has gathered from his own experience and observation and the recorded experiences of others.”
“_This_ -- when I speak, I _don't hint_, but _speak out_.”
“Anyone who goes to hear Sarah Palin speak is a moron.”
“And to hear that dumb bimbo Palin speak is like listening to nails scraping across a chalk board! she's so stupid!”
“Just when one thought there would be no entertainment value in this convention, the RNC bring us the first of their leaders to bring us the term "nuculer" ... and later this week we will have the great honor to hear the gal who has a great grasp on the term speak, as well.”
“Annie_Snyder: We should always use the word speak in quote marks”
“Muslims" in BNP-speak is code for black and Asian people.”
“I will let the title speak for itself this week folks.”
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