- an act of uttering; vocal expression.
- manner of speaking; power of speaking: His very utterance was spellbinding.
- something uttered; a word or words uttered; a cry, animal's call, or the like.
- Linguistics. any speech sequence consisting of one or more words and preceded and followed by silence: it may be coextensive with a sentence.
- Obsolete. a public sale of goods.
Origin of utterance1
- the utmost extremity, especially death.
Origin of utterance2
1350–1400; Middle English < Old French outrance, oultrance, equivalent to oultr(er) to pass beyond (< Latin ultrā beyond) + -ance -ance
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for utterance
Around my own friends, someone will wind up a conversation with a shrug and a baffling—to me—utterance of “Haters gonna hate.”Why We Should Hate 'Haters Gonna Hate'
August 25, 2014
In recent weeks, the markets have been hanging, more than usual, on every Bernanke utterance.Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke Testimony Further Calms Markets
July 17, 2013
Which, in such cases—the act or the utterance, the gesture or the text—is the palimpsest of other?Why Contemporary Art Matters Now
June 16, 2013
Hagel's May utterance that "we've got to understand great-power limitations" might be apt.Hagel, Obama and Iran
December 19, 2012
Her daughter Lila Grace Moss Hack first utterance was ‘Nazzi’ — short for paparazzi.Kate Moss Reveals Daughter’s First Word, New Schiaparelli Rumors
The Fashion Beast Team
November 5, 2012
Simplicity and self-forgetfulness were manifest in carriage and utterance.Weighed and Wanting
Yet, in the intensity of her utterance, the feeble whisper struck like a shriek of horror.Within the Law
What magic in the utterance, what a revelation of Cleopatra's character and of Shakespeare's!The Man Shakespeare
"Let us thank God, old man," I said, the tears of joy half choking my utterance.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
There was no cessation, but the regular moment's pause, in the utterance of these sounds.A Tale of Two Cities
- something uttered, such as a statement
- the act or power of uttering or the ability to utter
- logic philosophy an element of spoken language, esp a sentenceCompare inscription (def. 4)
- archaic, or literary the bitter end (esp in the phrase to the utterance)
C13: from Old French oultrance, from oultrer to carry to excess, from Latin ultrā beyond
Word Origin and History for utterance
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper