Nearby words

  1. saxony-anhalt,
  2. saxophone,
  3. saxophonic,
  4. saxophonist,
  5. saxtuba,
  6. say (cry) uncle,
  7. say a mouthful,
  8. say grace,
  9. say one's piece,
  10. say the word


    that is to say. that(def 16).

Origin of say

before 900; Middle English seyen, seggen, Old English secgan; cognate with Dutch zeggen, German sagen, Old Norse segja; akin to saw3

Related formssay·er, noun


[ sey ]
/ seɪ /

verb (used with object), noun British Dialect.

Origin of say

1350–1400; Middle English sayen, aphetic variant of assayen to assay


[ sey ]
/ seɪ /


a thin silk or woolen fabric similar to serge, much used in the 16th century.

Origin of say

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French saie < Latin saga, plural of sagum woolen cloak, said to be < Gaulish


[ sey ]
/ seɪ /


Jean Bap·tiste [zhahn ba-teest] /ʒɑ̃ baˈtist/, 1767–1832, French economist.Compare Say's law.
Thomas,1787–1834, U.S. entomologist. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for say
Derived Formssayer, noun

Word Origin for say

Old English secgan; related to Old Norse segja, Old Saxon seggian, Old High German sagēn


archaic a type of fine woollen fabric

Word Origin for say

C13: from Old French saie, from Latin saga, plural of sagum a type of woollen cloak

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

Word Origin and History for say
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with say


In addition to the idioms beginning with say

  • say a mouthful
  • say grace
  • say one's piece
  • says who?
  • say the word
  • say uncle

also see:

  • before you can say Jack Robinson
  • cry (say) uncle
  • do as I say
  • give (say) the word
  • go without (saying)
  • have a say in
  • I dare say
  • I'll say
  • needless to say
  • never say die
  • never say never
  • not to mention (say nothing of)
  • on one's say-so
  • strange to say
  • suffice it to say
  • that is (to say)
  • to say the least
  • you can say that again
  • you don't say

Also see undersaid.

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