speaking

[spee-king]
See more synonyms for speaking on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the act, utterance, or discourse of a person who speaks.
  2. speakings, literary works composed for recitation, as ancient bardic poetry; oral literature.
adjective
  1. that speaks.
  2. used in, suited to, or involving speaking or talking: the speaking voice.
  3. of or relating to declamation.
  4. giving information as if by speech: a speaking proof of a thing.
  5. highly expressive: speaking eyes.
  6. lifelike: a speaking likeness.
Idioms
  1. not on speaking terms, not or no longer in a relationship of open, willing, or ready communication, as because of resentment or estrangement: They had a squabble during the holidays, and now they're not on speaking terms.
  2. on speaking terms,
    1. in a relationship close enough for or limited to friendly superficialities: I don't know the hosts well, but we are certainly on speaking terms.
    2. in a relationship of open, willing, or ready communication: Now that the debt has been settled, I hope you and your partner are on speaking terms again.

Origin of speaking

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at speak, -ing1, -ing2
Related formsspeak·ing·ly, adverbspeak·ing·ness, nounnon·speak·ing, adjectivewell-speak·ing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for on speaking terms

speaking

adjective
  1. (prenominal) eloquent, impressive, or striking
    1. able to speak
    2. (in combination)able to speak a particular languageFrench-speaking
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Idioms and Phrases with on speaking terms

on speaking terms

1

Friendly enough to exchange superficial remarks, as in We're on speaking terms with the new neighbors.

2

Ready and willing to communicate, not alienated or estranged. For example, We are on speaking terms again after the quarrel. Both senses of this idiom commonly occur in the negative, as in Brett and his brother haven't been on speaking terms for years. The idiom was first recorded in 1786.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.