Simple Definition of speak
: to say words in order to express your thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc., to someone : to talk to someone
: to talk about a particular subject or person
: to say words to express yourself in a particular way
Full Definition of speak
1a : to utter words or articulate sounds with the ordinary voice : talkb (1) : to express thoughts, opinions, or feelings orally (2) : to extend a greeting (3) : to be friendly enough to engage in conversation <still were not speaking after the dispute>c (1) : to express oneself before a group (2) : to address one's remarks <speak to the issue>
2a : to make a written statement <his diaries…spoke…of his entrancement with death — Sy Kahn>b : to use such an expression —often used in the phrase so to speak <was at the enemy's gates, so to speak — C. S. Forester>c : to serve as spokesperson
3a : to express feelings by other than verbal means <actions speak louder than words>b : signalc : to be interesting or attractive : appeal <great music…speaks directly to the emotions — A. N. Whitehead>
4 : to make a request or claim —used with for —usually used in passive constructions <the seat was already spoken for>
5 : to make a characteristic or natural sound <all at once the thunder spoke — George Meredith>
6a : testifyb : to be indicative or suggestive <his gold…spoke of riches in the land — Julian Dana>
2 : to make known in writing : state
Examples of speak
Have you two spoken since yesterday?
She and I spoke this morning.
He never speaks at the meetings.
Without speaking, she walked from the room.
They were speaking in Japanese.
When I said you were my best friend, I was speaking sincerely.
She must be speaking the truth.
Not a word was spoken between them the whole time.
He has laryngitis and can't speak.
She speaks with a Southern accent.
Origin of speak
Middle English speken, from Old English sprecan, specan; akin to Old High German sprehhan to speak, Greek spharageisthai to crackle
First Known Use: before 12th century
Simple Definition of -speak
—used to form words that refer to the special languages or words used for particular activities or by particular groups
Full Definition of -speak
—used to form especially nonce words denoting a particular kind of jargon <Californiaspeak>
Origin of -speak
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up speak? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).