verb (used without object), spoke or (Archaic) spake; spo·ken or (Archaic) spoke; speak·ing.
verb (used with object), spoke or (Archaic) spake; spo·ken or (Archaic) spoke; speak·ing.
- 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.
Origin of speak
Synonyms for speak
Related Words for speakconvey, deliver, express, communicate, shout, declare, say, chat, whisper, go, utter, voice, tell, argue, talk, plead, chew, expatiate, descant, pronounce
Examples from the Web for speak
Contemporary Examples of speak
So we do demand justice and we do speak up and make demands.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
“We met the smuggler in the train station; he came to speak with us about the services he provided,” Yazbek says.Ghost Ships of the Mediterranean
Barbie Latza Nadeau
January 6, 2015
He disagrees, though, and says it is the duty of every person—men, especially—to speak up on this issue.Can Hip-Hop Prevent Honor Killings?
December 30, 2014
They were born in 51 countries and speak 59 foreign languages, but they seemed bound by a single purpose and resolve.Cop Families Boo De Blasio at NYPD Graduation
December 30, 2014
The Baluch in Iran do not speak Farsi but Baluchi, just like the Baluch in Pakistan, and in Iran they are a Sunni minority.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan
December 29, 2014
Historical Examples of speak
The aged philosopher endeavoured to speak, but his voice was tremulous with emotion.
He has obtained from his son a solemn promise never to speak to me of marriage.
"I have not heard the rumours whereof you speak," replied Philothea.
But the Lacedæmonians make it a rule never to speak of danger from their slaves.
Phœbus protect me, but this is an awful place to speak of those who sleep.
verb speaks, speaking, spoke or spoken
Word Origin for speak
suffix forming nouns
Word Origin for -speak
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").
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
- actions speak louder than words
- in a manner of speaking
- nothing to speak of
- not to mention (speak of)
- on speaking terms
- so to speak
- to speak of