[ spee-king ]
See synonyms for: speakingspeakings on Thesaurus.com

  1. the act, utterance, or discourse of a person who speaks.

  2. speakings, literary works composed for recitation, as ancient bardic poetry; oral literature.

  1. that speaks.

  2. used in, suited to, or involving speaking or talking: the speaking voice.

  1. of or relating to declamation.

  2. giving information as if by speech: a speaking proof of a thing.

  3. highly expressive: speaking eyes.

  4. lifelike: a speaking likeness.

Idioms about speaking

  1. 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.

  2. on speaking terms,

    • 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.

    • 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

Other words from speaking

  • speak·ing·ly, adverb
  • speak·ing·ness, noun
  • non·speak·ing, adjective
  • well-speaking, adjective

Words Nearby speaking

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use speaking in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for speaking


/ (ˈspiːkɪŋ) /

  1. (prenominal) eloquent, impressive, or striking

    • able to speak

    • (in combination) able to speak a particular language: French-speaking

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