An example of to speak is to give a speech at graduation.
- to utter words with the ordinary voice; talk
- to express or communicate opinions, feelings, ideas, etc. by or as by talking: speak in our behalf, actions speak louder than words
- to make a request or reservation (for): usually in the passive voice: a seat not yet spoken for
- to make a speech; deliver an address or lecture; discourse
- to be a spokesman (for)
- to talk with another or others; converse
- to make or give out sound, as a gun firing or a dog barking
Origin of speakMiddle English speken ; from Old English specan, earlier sprecan, akin to German sprechen ; from Indo-European base an unverified form sp(h)er(e)-g-, to strew, sprinkle from source spark, Classical Latin spargere, to sprinkle: basic sense “to scatter (words)”
- to express or make known by or as by speaking
- to use or be able to use (a given language) in speaking
- to utter (words) orally
- Archaic to speak to; address
- Archaic to declare or show to be; reveal
- Naut. to hail (a passing ship)
so to speak
speak for itself
- to speak audibly or clearly
- to speak freely or forcefully
speak well for
to speak of
Origin of -speak; from Newspeak, possibly also Oldspeak, in the novel 1984: see newspeak
Origin of -speakFrom (new)speak.
verbspoke , spo·ken , speak·ing, speaks
- To produce words by means of sounds; talk: Can the baby speak yet?
- a. To express thoughts or feelings to convey information in speech or writing: He spoke of his desire to travel. In her poem she speaks about loss.b. To convey information or ideas in text: Their book speaks about adopting children.
- a. To engage in conversation: Can we speak for a few minutes about the assignment?b. To be friendly or willing to communicate; be on speaking terms: They are no longer speaking.
- To deliver an address or lecture: The mayor spoke at the rally.
- a. To act as spokesperson: I speak for the entire staff.b. To convey information through another person: The family spoke to the media through their trusted adviser.
- a. To convey a message by nonverbal means: Actions speak louder than words.b. To give an indication or suggestion: His manners spoke of good upbringing.c. To be appealing: His poetry speaks to one's heart.
- To make a reservation or request. Used with for: Has anyone spoken for the last piece of pizza?
- a. To produce a characteristic sound: The drums spoke.b. To give off a sound on firing. Used of guns or cannon.
- To say with the voice; pronounce or utter: She spoke the words with a French accent.
- To converse in or be able to converse in (a language): speaks German.
- To express in words; tell: speak the truth.
- Nautical To hail and communicate with (another vessel) at sea.
- To convey by nonverbal means: His eyes spoke volumes.
Origin of speakMiddle English speken, from Old English sprecan, specan.
- (intransitive) To communicate with one's voice, to say words out loud.
- I was so surprised I couldn't speak. You're speaking too fast.
- (intransitive) To have a conversation.
- It's been ages since we've spoken.
- (by extension) To communicate or converse by some means other than orally, such as writing or facial expressions.
- He spoke of it in his diary. Speak to me only with your eyes. I just spoke with them on IRC. Actions speak louder than words.
- (intransitive) To deliver a message to a group; to deliver a speech.
- This evening I shall speak on the topic of correct English usage.
- To be able to communicate in a language.
- He speaks Mandarin fluently.
- To utter.
- I was so surprised that I couldn't speak a word.
- To communicate (some fact or feeling); to bespeak, to indicate.
- (informal, sometimes humorous) To understand (as though it were a language).
- Sorry, I don't speak idiot. So you can program in C. But do you speak C++?
- (intransitive) To produce a sound; to sound.
- (archaic) To address; to accost; to speak to.
From Middle English speken (“to speak"), from Old English specan (“to speak"), alteration of earlier sprecan (“to speak"), from Proto-Germanic *sprekanÄ… (“to speak, make a sound"), from Proto-Indo-European *spreg- (“to make a sound, utter, speak"). Cognate with West Frisian sprekke, Low German spreken (“to speak"), Dutch spreken (“to speak"), German sprechen (“to speak"), and also with Albanian shpreh (“to utter, voice, express") through Indo-European.
- Indicates a manner of speech or writing typical of or characterized by the root term.