[ speek ]
/ spik /
verb (used without object), spoke or (Archaic) spake; spo·ken or (Archaic) spoke; speak·ing.
to utter words or articulate sounds with the ordinary voice; talk: He was too ill to speak.
to communicate vocally; mention: to speak to a person about various matters.
to converse: She spoke with him for an hour.
to deliver an address, discourse, etc.: to speak at a meeting.
to make a statement in written or printed words.
to communicate, signify, or disclose by any means; convey significance.
Phonetics. to produce sounds or audible sequences of individual or concatenated sounds of a language, especially through phonation, amplification, and resonance, and through any of a variety of articulatory processes.
(of a computer) to express data or other information audibly by means of an audio response unit.
to emit a sound, as a musical instrument; make a noise or report.
Chiefly British. (of dogs) to bark when ordered.
Fox Hunting. (of a hound or pack) to bay on finding a scent.
verb (used with object), spoke or (Archaic) spake; spo·ken or (Archaic) spoke; speak·ing.
to utter vocally and articulately: to speak words of praise.
to express or make known with the voice: to speak the truth.
to declare in writing or printing, or by any means of communication.
to make known, indicate, or reveal.
to use, or be able to use, in oral utterance, as a language: to speak French.
(of a computer) to express or make known (data, prompts, etc.) by means of an audio response unit.
Nautical. to communicate with (a passing vessel) at sea, as by voice or signal: We spoke a whaler on the fourth day at sea.
Archaic. to speak to or with.
- 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.
speak out, to express one's opinion openly and unreservedly: He was not afraid to speak out when it was something he believed in strongly.
so to speak, to use a manner of speaking; figuratively speaking: We still don't have our heads above water, so to speak.
speak by the book, to say with great authority or precision: I can't speak by the book, but I know this is wrong.
speak well for, to be an indication or reflection of (something commendable); testify admirably to: Her manners speak well for her upbringing.
to speak of, worth mentioning: The country has no mineral resources to speak of.
Origin of speak
before 900; Middle English speken, Old English specan, variant of sprecan; cognate with German sprechen (Old High German sprehhan; compare variant spehhan)
SYNONYMS FOR speak
1 Speak, converse, talk mean to make vocal sounds, usually for purposes of communication. To speak often implies conveying information and may apply to anything from an informal remark to a scholarly presentation to a formal address: to speak sharply; to speak before Congress. To converse is to exchange ideas with someone by speaking: to converse with a friend. To talk is a close synonym for to speak but usually refers to less formal situations: to talk about the weather; to talk with a friend.
12 pronounce, articulate.
Related formsspeak·a·ble, adjectivespeak·a·ble·ness, nounspeak·a·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for speak out (1 of 2)
verb (intr, adverb)
to state one's beliefs, objections, etc, bravely and firmly
to speak more loudly and clearly
British Dictionary definitions for speak out (2 of 2)
/ (spiːk) /
verb speaks, speaking, spoke or spoken
to make (verbal utterances); utter (words)
to communicate or express (something) in or as if in wordsI speak the truth
(intr) to deliver a speech, discourse, etc
(tr) to know how to talk in (a language or dialect)he does not speak German
(intr) to make a characteristic soundthe clock spoke
(intr) (of dogs, esp hounds used in hunting) to give tongue; bark
(tr) nautical to hail and converse or communicate with (another vessel) at sea
(intr) (of a musical instrument) to produce a sound
(intr foll by for) to be a representative or advocate (of)he speaks for all the members
on speaking terms on good terms; friendly
so to speak in a manner of speaking; as it were
speak one's mind to express one's opinions frankly and plainly
to speak of of a significant or worthwhile naturewe have had no support to speak of
Derived Formsspeakable, adjective
Word Origin for speak
Old English specan; related to Old High German spehhan, Middle High German spechten to gossip, Middle Dutch speken; see speech
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
Idioms and Phrases with speak out (1 of 2)
see speak one's mind; speak up, def. 1.
Idioms and Phrases with speak out (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
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.