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says

[sez]
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verb
  1. 3rd person singular present ind. of say1.
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say1

[sey]
verb (used with object), said, say·ing.
  1. to utter or pronounce; speak: What did you say? I said “Hello!”
  2. to express in words; state; declare; word: Say it clearly and simply. It's hard to know how to say this tactfully.
  3. to state as an opinion or judgment: I say her plan is the better one.
  4. to be certain, precise, or assured about; determine: It is hard to say what is wrong.
  5. to recite or repeat: to say one's prayers.
  6. to report or allege; maintain: People say he will resign.
  7. to express (a message, viewpoint, etc.), as through a literary or other artistic medium: a writer with something to say.
  8. to indicate or show: What does your watch say?
  9. to assume as a hypothesis or estimate: Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's true.
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verb (used without object), said, say·ing.
  1. to speak; declare; express an opinion.
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adverb
  1. approximately; about: It's, say, 14 feet long.
  2. for example: If you serve, say tuna fish and potato chips, it will cost much less.
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noun
  1. what a person says or has to say.
  2. the right or opportunity to speak, decide, or exercise influence: to have one's say in choosing the candidate.
  3. a turn to say something: It is now my say.
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interjection
  1. (used to express surprise, get attention, etc.)
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Idioms
  1. that is to say. that(def 16).
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Origin of say1

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

say2

[sey]
verb (used with object), noun British Dialect.
  1. assay.
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Origin of say2

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

say3

[sey]
noun
  1. a thin silk or woolen fabric similar to serge, much used in the 16th century.
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Origin of say3

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French saie < Latin saga, plural of sagum woolen cloak, said to be < Gaulish
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for says

say1

verb says (sɛz), saying or said (mainly tr)
  1. to speak, pronounce, or utter
  2. (also intr) to express (an idea) in words; tellwe asked his opinion but he refused to say
  3. (also intr; may take a clause as object) to state (an opinion, fact, etc) positively; declare; affirm
  4. to reciteto say grace
  5. (may take a clause as object) to report or allegethey say we shall have rain today
  6. (may take a clause as object) to take as an assumption; supposelet us say that he is lying
  7. (may take a clause as object) to convey by means of artistic expressionthe artist in this painting is saying that we should look for hope
  8. to make a case forthere is much to be said for either course of action
  9. (usually passive) Irish to persuade or coax (someone) to do somethingIf I hadn't been said by her, I wouldn't be in this fix
  10. go without saying to be so obvious as to need no explanation
  11. I say! mainly British informal an exclamation of surprise
  12. not to say even; and indeed
  13. that is to say in other words; more explicitly
  14. to say nothing of as well as; even disregardinghe was warmly dressed in a shirt and heavy jumper, to say nothing of a thick overcoat
  15. to say the least without the slightest exaggeration; at the very least
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adverb
  1. approximatelythere were, say, 20 people present
  2. for examplechoose a number, say, four
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noun
  1. the right or chance to speaklet him have his say
  2. authority, esp to influence a decisionhe has a lot of say in the company's policy
  3. a statement of opinionyou've had your say, now let me have mine
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interjection
  1. US and Canadian informal an exclamation to attract attention or express surprise, etc
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Derived Formssayer, noun

Word Origin

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

say2

noun
  1. archaic a type of fine woollen fabric
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Word Origin

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 says

third person singular of say (v.), c.1300, eventually replacing saith.

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say

v.

Old English secgan "to utter, inform, speak, tell, relate," from Proto-Germanic *sagjanan (cf. Old Saxon seggian, Old Norse segja, Danish sige, Old Frisian sedsa, Middle Dutch segghen, Dutch zeggen, Old High German sagen, German sagen "to say"), from PIE *sokwyo-, from root *sekw- (3) "to say, utter" (cf. Hittite shakiya- "to declare," Lithuanian sakyti "to say," Old Church Slavonic sociti "to vindicate, show," Old Irish insce "speech," Old Latin inseque "to tell say").

Past tense said developed from Old English segde. Not attested in use with inanimate objects (clocks, signs, etc.) as subjects before 1930. You said it "you're right" first recorded 1919; you can say that again as a phrase expressing agreement is recorded from 1942, American English. You don't say (so) as an expression of astonishment (often ironic) is first recorded 1779, American English.

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say

n.

"what someone says," 1570s, from say (v.). Meaning "right or authority to influence a decision" is from 1610s. Extended form say-so is first recorded 1630s. Cf. Old English secge "speech."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with says

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.

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