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 formsspeak·a·ble, adjectivespeak·a·ble·ness, nounspeak·a·bly, adverb
British Dictionary definitions for speak for (1 of 2)
verb (intr, preposition)
British Dictionary definitions for speak for (2 of 2)
verb speaks, speaking, spoke or spoken
Derived Formsspeakable, adjective
Word Origin for speak
Idioms and Phrases with speak for (1 of 2)
Intercede for, recommend, as in He spoke for the young applicant, commending her honesty. [c. 1300]
Express the views of, as in I can't speak for my husband but I'd love to accept, or I don't care what Harry thinks—Speak for yourself, Joe. [c. 1300]
speak for itself. Be significant or self-evident, as in They haven't called us in months, and that speaks for itself. [Second half of 1700s]
spoken for. Ordered, engaged, or reserved, as in This lot of rugs is already spoken for, or Is this dance spoken for? This usage comes from the older verb, bespeak, meaning “to order.” [Late 1600s]
Idioms and Phrases with speak for (2 of 2)
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