[ spohk ]
/ spoʊk /


a simple past tense of speak.
Nonstandard. a past participle of speak.
Archaic. a past participle of speak.

Nearby words

  1. spoils system,
  2. spoilsman,
  3. spoilsport,
  4. spoilt,
  5. spokane,
  6. spoke-dog,
  7. spoken,
  8. spoken for,
  9. spokeshave,
  10. spokesman


[ spohk ]
/ spoʊk /


one of the bars, rods, or rungs radiating from the hub or nave of a wheel and supporting the rim or felloe.
something that resembles the spoke of a wheel.
a handlelike projection from the rim of a wheel, as a ship's steering wheel.
a rung of a ladder.

verb (used with object), spoked, spok·ing.

to fit or furnish with or as with spokes.

Origin of spoke

before 900; Middle English; Old English spāca; cognate with Dutch speek, German Speiche

Related formsspoke·less, adjective


[ 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)

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 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

Examples from the Web for spoke

British Dictionary definitions for spoke


/ (spəʊk) /


the past tense of speak
archaic, or dialect a past participle of speak


a radial member of a wheel, joining the hub to the rim
a radial projection from the rim of a wheel, as in a ship's wheel
a rung of a ladder
put a spoke in someone's wheel British to thwart someone's plans


(tr) to equip with or as if with spokes

Word Origin for spoke

Old English spāca


/ (spiːk) /

verb speaks, speaking, spoke or spoken

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

Word Origin and History for spoke
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with spoke


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.