- one of the bars, rods, or rungs radiating from the hub or nave of a wheel and supporting the rim or felloe.
- something that resembles the spoke of a wheel.
- a handlelike projection from the rim of a wheel, as a ship's steering wheel.
- a rung of a ladder.
- to fit or furnish with or as with spokes.
Origin of spoke2
- to utter words or articulate sounds with the ordinary voice; talk: He was too ill to speak.
- to communicate vocally; mention: to speak to a person about various matters.
- to converse: She spoke with him for an hour.
- to deliver an address, discourse, etc.: to speak at a meeting.
- to make a statement in written or printed words.
- to communicate, signify, or disclose by any means; convey significance.
- Phonetics. to produce sounds or audible sequences of individual or concatenated sounds of a language, especially through phonation, amplification, and resonance, and through any of a variety of articulatory processes.
- (of a computer) to express data or other information audibly by means of an audio response unit.
- to emit a sound, as a musical instrument; make a noise or report.
- Chiefly British. (of dogs) to bark when ordered.
- Fox Hunting. (of a hound or pack) to bay on finding a scent.
- to utter vocally and articulately: to speak words of praise.
- to express or make known with the voice: to speak the truth.
- to declare in writing or printing, or by any means of communication.
- to make known, indicate, or reveal.
- to use, or be able to use, in oral utterance, as a language: to speak French.
- (of a computer) to express or make known (data, prompts, etc.) by means of an audio response unit.
- Nautical. to communicate with (a passing vessel) at sea, as by voice or signal: We spoke a whaler on the fourth day at sea.
- Archaic. to speak to or with.
- speak for,
- to intercede for or recommend; speak in behalf of.
- to express or articulate the views of; represent.
- to choose or prefer; have reserved for oneself: This item is already spoken for.
- speak out, to express one's opinion openly and unreservedly: He was not afraid to speak out when it was something he believed in strongly.
- so to speak, to use a manner of speaking; figuratively speaking: We still don't have our heads above water, so to speak.
- speak by the book, to say with great authority or precision: I can't speak by the book, but I know this is wrong.
- speak well for, to be an indication or reflection of (something commendable); testify admirably to: Her manners speak well for her upbringing.
- to speak of, worth mentioning: The country has no mineral resources to speak of.
Origin of speak
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for spoke
Scalise spoke briefly, adding little of substance, saying that the people back home know him best.The Price of Steve Scalise’s Silence
January 7, 2015
His peers remember him as a bright man who spoke softly and occasionally came across as a bit shy.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
Almost everyone I spoke to said they have used JSwipe because they are specifically not just looking for a booty call.My Week on Jewish Tinder
January 5, 2015
Last summer, I spoke with first black supermodel Beverly Johnson about this for The Root.One Vogue Cover Doesn’t Solve Fashion’s Big Race Problem
January 2, 2015
But many I spoke to felt that even when the police were making arrests, they were frequently focused on the wrong issues.Ground Zero of the NYPD Slowdown
January 1, 2015
As she spoke, Geta lifted the curtain, and Philothea instantly obeyed the signal.
A second and a third time the Ethiopian touched him with his wand, and spoke in whispers.
I spoke to Philothea just as I used to do; without remembering that she had died.
From the first moment you spoke, I have felt this mysterious power.
He arose, as he spoke, and reverently placed the chaplet on the head of Plato.
- a radial member of a wheel, joining the hub to the rim
- a radial projection from the rim of a wheel, as in a ship's wheel
- a rung of a ladder
- put a spoke in someone's wheel British to thwart someone's plans
- (tr) to equip with or as if with spokes
- to make (verbal utterances); utter (words)
- to communicate or express (something) in or as if in wordsI speak the truth
- (intr) to deliver a speech, discourse, etc
- (tr) to know how to talk in (a language or dialect)he does not speak German
- (intr) to make a characteristic soundthe clock spoke
- (intr) (of dogs, esp hounds used in hunting) to give tongue; bark
- (tr) nautical to hail and converse or communicate with (another vessel) at sea
- (intr) (of a musical instrument) to produce a sound
- (intr foll by for) to be a representative or advocate (of)he speaks for all the members
- on speaking terms on good terms; friendly
- so to speak in a manner of speaking; as it were
- speak one's mind to express one's opinions frankly and plainly
- to speak of of a significant or worthwhile naturewe have had no support to speak of
Word Origin and History for spoke
(of a wheel), Old English spaca "spoke," related to spicing "large nail," from Proto-Germanic *spaikon (cf. Old Saxon speca, Old Frisian spake, Dutch spaak, Old High German speicha, German speiche "spoke"), probably from PIE *spei- "sharp point" (see spike (n.1)).
Old English specan, variant of sprecan "to speak" (class V strong verb; past tense spræc, past participle sprecen), from Proto-Germanic *sprekanan (cf. Old Saxon sprecan, Old Frisian spreka, Middle Dutch spreken, Old High German sprehhan, German sprechen "to speak," Old Norse spraki "rumor, report"), cognate with Latin spargere "to strew" (speech as a "scattering" of words; see sparse).
The -r- began to drop out in Late West Saxon and was gone by mid-12c., perhaps from influence of Danish spage "crackle," in a slang sense of "speak" (cf. crack in slang senses having to do with speech, e.g. wisecrack, cracker, all it's cracked up to be). Rare variant forms without -r- also are found in Middle Dutch (speken) and Old High German (spehhan).
Not the primary word for "to speak" in Old English (the "Beowulf" author prefers maþelian, from mæþel "assembly, council," from root of metan "to meet;" cf. Greek agoreuo "to speak," originally "speak in the assembly," from agora "assembly").
Idioms and Phrases with spoke
In addition to the idioms beginning with speak
- speak down to
- speak for
- speak of the devil
- speak one's mind
- speak one's piece
- speak out
- speak out of turn
- speak the same language
- speak too soon
- speak up
- speak volumes