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
Definition for speak (2 of 2)
Examples from the Web for speak
So we do demand justice and we do speak up and make demands.
“We met the smuggler in the train station; he came to speak with us about the services he provided,” Yazbek says.
He disagrees, though, and says it is the duty of every person—men, especially—to speak up on this issue.
They were born in 51 countries and speak 59 foreign languages, but they seemed bound by a single purpose and resolve.
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|Umar Farooq|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
And I could not speak a consoling word to her; Klaus did not wish it.A Sister's Love|W. Heimburg
This clears the atmosphere, so to speak, and we know who were after.The Motor Boys on the Wing|Clarence Young
When a senator assumes to speak for the President, every senator possesses a public right to demand his authority for so doing.Thirty Years' View (Vol. II of 2)|Thomas Hart Benton
All persons who speak of their ailings, diseases, or bodily infirmities, are offensive bores.
Suppose now she stood before him, wonder-eyes raised, seeking his soul's truth; hands resting in his until he should speak.Joyce of the North Woods|Harriet T. Comstock
British Dictionary definitions for speak (1 of 2)
verb speaks, speaking, spoke or spoken
Word Origin for speak
British Dictionary definitions for speak (2 of 2)
suffix forming nouns
Word Origin for -speak
Word Origin and History 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").
Idioms and Phrases with speak
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