noun \ˈspēch\

: a spoken expression of ideas, opinions, etc., that is made by someone who is speaking in front of a group of people

: the ability to speak

: spoken language

Full Definition of SPEECH

a :  the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words
b :  exchange of spoken words :  conversation
a :  something that is spoken :  utterance
b :  a usually public discourse :  address
a :  language, dialect
b :  an individual manner or style of speaking
:  the power of expressing or communicating thoughts by speaking

Examples of SPEECH

  1. She has to make a speech at the convention.
  2. a graduation speech about embracing future challenges
  3. I was so flustered that I momentarily lost the power of speech.
  4. Slang is used mostly in informal speech.
  5. Many words are more common in speech than in writing.

Origin of SPEECH

Middle English speche, from Old English sprǣc, spǣc; akin to Old English sprecan to speak — more at speak
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile
SPEECH Defined for Kids


noun \ˈspēch\

Definition of SPEECH for Kids

:  the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words
:  something that is spoken :  statement <Indeed, there had been so much talk that the steward … informed one and all that such speech went against the will of God … — Avi, Crispin>
:  a public talk
:  a form of communication (as a language or dialect) used by a particular group
:  a way of speaking <And he was quick to grasp the … rhythms of Lewis's speech and match them. — Virginia Hamilton, M. C. Higgins>
:  the ability to speak <I was so surprised, I lost my speech.>
Medical Dictionary


noun \ˈspēch\

Medical Definition of SPEECH

:  the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears