speaking

[ spee-king ]
/ ˈspi kɪŋ /

noun

the act, utterance, or discourse of a person who speaks.
speakings, literary works composed for recitation, as ancient bardic poetry; oral literature.

adjective

Idioms

    not on speaking terms, not or no longer in a relationship of open, willing, or ready communication, as because of resentment or estrangement: They had a squabble during the holidays, and now they're not on speaking terms.
    on speaking terms,
    1. in a relationship close enough for or limited to friendly superficialities: I don't know the hosts well, but we are certainly on speaking terms.
    2. in a relationship of open, willing, or ready communication: Now that the debt has been settled, I hope you and your partner are on speaking terms again.

Origin of speaking

Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at speak, -ing1, -ing2

Related forms

speak·ing·ly, adverbspeak·ing·ness, nounnon·speak·ing, adjectivewell-speak·ing, adjective

Definition for speaking (2 of 2)

speak

[ speek ]
/ spik /

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.

Verb Phrases

speak for,
  1. to intercede for or recommend; speak in behalf of.
  2. to express or articulate the views of; represent.
  3. 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.

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.
13 say.
15 disclose.

Related forms

speak·a·ble, adjectivespeak·a·ble·ness, nounspeak·a·bly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for speaking

British Dictionary definitions for speaking (1 of 2)

speaking

/ (ˈspiːkɪŋ) /

adjective

(prenominal) eloquent, impressive, or striking
  1. able to speak
  2. (in combination) able to speak a particular languageFrench-speaking

British Dictionary definitions for speaking (2 of 2)

speak

/ (spiːk) /

verb speaks, speaking, spoke or spoken

Derived Forms

speakable, 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 speaking

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

also see:

  • 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.