to utter or pronounce; speak: What did you say? I said “Hello!”
to state as an opinion or judgment: I say her plan is the better one.
to be certain, precise, or assured about; determine: It is hard to say what is wrong.
to recite or repeat: to say one's prayers.
to report or allege; maintain: People say he will resign.
to express (a message, viewpoint, etc.), as through a literary or other artistic medium: a writer with something to say.
to indicate or show: What does your watch say?
to assume as a hypothesis or estimate: Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's true.
to speak; declare; express an opinion.
what a person says or has to say.
the right or opportunity to speak, decide, or exercise influence: to have one's say in choosing the candidate.
a turn to say something: It is now my say.
(used to express surprise, get attention, etc.)
Idioms about say
- sayer, noun
Other definitions for say (2 of 4)
British Dialect. assay.
Other definitions for say (3 of 4)
a thin silk or woolen fabric similar to serge, much used in the 16th century.
Other definitions for Say (4 of 4)
Jean Bap·tiste [zhahnba-teest], /ʒɑ̃ baˈtist/, 1767–1832, French economist.: Compare Say's law.
Thomas, 1787–1834, U.S. entomologist.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use say in a sentence
And more I cannot explain/but you, from what I did not say/will infer what I do not say.Sor Juana: Mexico’s Most Erotic Poet and Its Most Dangerous Nun | Katie Baker | November 8, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Compston managed all this without the say-so of the Courtauld, which sent him a stinging letter.Joshua Compston Was Once the Wunderkind of the British Art World…and Now He’s Been Practically Forgotten | Anthony Haden-Guest | January 17, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Marchman takes it as a given that MLB basing its case on the say-so of a sketchy Floridian drug-dealer is preposterous.Major League Baseball Is Right to Punish the Biogenesis Cheats | Michael Brendan Dougherty | June 6, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
How does Romney give that answer on national television and force his campaign into what-he-really-meant-to-say mode?
Matthew Yglesias on how the right's just-say-no game helped bring the left together.
Or ne say-je quelle estoit sa maladie; si elle venoit seulement par intervalles, ou non, je n'en say rien: tant y a que le 2.
ITo heaven cry aloud, and to the world:“Who hath reduced her to this pass?say, say!”The Poems of Giacomo Leopardi | Giacomo Leopardi
Maybe Marie would wish then that she had thought twice about quitting him just on her mother's say-so.Cabin Fever | B. M. Bower
And hast thou fixed my doom, kind master, say?And wilt thou kill thy servant, old and poor?Stories about Animals: with Pictures to Match | Francis C. Woodworth
And hast thou fixed my doom, sweet master, say?And wilt thou kill thy servant, old and poor?Stories about Animals: with Pictures to Match | Francis C. Woodworth
British Dictionary definitions for say (1 of 2)
to speak, pronounce, or utter
(also intr) to express (an idea) in words; tell: we asked his opinion but he refused to say
(also intr; may take a clause as object) to state (an opinion, fact, etc) positively; declare; affirm
to recite: to say grace
(may take a clause as object) to report or allege: they say we shall have rain today
(may take a clause as object) to take as an assumption; suppose: let us say that he is lying
(may take a clause as object) to convey by means of artistic expression: the artist in this painting is saying that we should look for hope
to make a case for: there is much to be said for either course of action
(usually passive) Irish to persuade or coax (someone) to do something: If I hadn't been said by her, I wouldn't be in this fix
go without saying to be so obvious as to need no explanation
I say! mainly British informal an exclamation of surprise
not to say even; and indeed
that is to say in other words; more explicitly
to say nothing of as well as; even disregarding: he was warmly dressed in a shirt and heavy jumper, to say nothing of a thick overcoat
to say the least without the slightest exaggeration; at the very least
approximately: there were, say, 20 people present
for example: choose a number, say, four
the right or chance to speak: let him have his say
authority, esp to influence a decision: he has a lot of say in the company's policy
a statement of opinion: you've had your say, now let me have mine
US and Canadian informal an exclamation to attract attention or express surprise, etc
- sayer, noun
British Dictionary definitions for say (2 of 2)
archaic a type of fine woollen fabric
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
Other 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
- 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.