Speak Definition

spēk
speaking, speaks, spoke, spoken
verb
speaking, speaks, spoke, spoken
To express or make known by or as by speaking.
Webster's New World
To produce words by means of sounds; talk.
Can the baby speak yet?
American Heritage
To express or communicate opinions, feelings, ideas, etc. by or as by talking.
Speak in our behalf, actions speak louder than words.
Webster's New World
To convey information or ideas in text.
Their book speaks about adopting children.
American Heritage
To engage in conversation.
Can we speak for a few minutes about the assignment?
American Heritage
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suffix
Language characteristic of.
Doctorspeak; cop-speak.
American Heritage
Indicates a manner of speech or writing typical of or characterized by the root term.
Wiktionary
noun

Language, jargon, or terminology used uniquely in a particular environment or group.

Corporate speak; IT speak.
Wiktionary

(dated) A low class bar, a speakeasy.

Wiktionary
idiom
so to speak
  • Used to call attention to a choice of words, and especially to the metaphoric or expressive nature of a word or phrase:

    can't see the forest for the trees, so to speak.

American Heritage
speak down to
  • To speak condescendingly to:

    She never spoke down to her audience.

American Heritage
spoken for
  • Reserved or requested:

    Is that seat spoken for?

American Heritage
to speak of
  • Worthy of mention:

    There's nothing new to speak of.

American Heritage
so to speak
  • in a manner of speaking; that is to say
Webster's New World
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Idioms, Phrasal Verbs Related to Speak

Origin of Speak

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

  • Probably originally from Newspeak, coined by George Orwell in his book 1984.

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English speken from Old English sprecan, specan

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From (new)speak

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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