• synonyms


[uht-er-uh ns]
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  1. an act of uttering; vocal expression.
  2. manner of speaking; power of speaking: His very utterance was spellbinding.
  3. something uttered; a word or words uttered; a cry, animal's call, or the like.
  4. Linguistics. any speech sequence consisting of one or more words and preceded and followed by silence: it may be coextensive with a sentence.
  5. Obsolete. a public sale of goods.
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Origin of utterance1

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at utter1, -ance


[uht-er-uh ns]
noun Archaic.
  1. the utmost extremity, especially death.
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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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for utterance

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Simplicity and self-forgetfulness were manifest in carriage and utterance.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Yet, in the intensity of her utterance, the feeble whisper struck like a shriek of horror.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • What magic in the utterance, what a revelation of Cleopatra's character and of Shakespeare's!

  • "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

    Charles Dickens

British Dictionary definitions for utterance


  1. something uttered, such as a statement
  2. the act or power of uttering or the ability to utter
  3. logic philosophy an element of spoken language, esp a sentenceCompare inscription (def. 4)
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  1. archaic, or literary the bitter end (esp in the phrase to the utterance)
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French oultrance, from oultrer to carry to excess, from Latin ultrā beyond
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 utterance


"that which is uttered," mid-15c., from utter (v.) + -ance.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper