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


noun \ˈspēch\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of SPEECH

: the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Human communication through audible language. Speech sounds are made with air exhaled from the lungs, which passes between the vocal cords in the larynx and out through the vocal tract (pharynx and oral and nasal cavities). This airstream is shaped into different sounds by the articulators, mainly the tongue, palate, and lips (see articulation). Articulatory phonetics describes each sound in terms of the position and action of the articulators used to make it. Speech is also described in terms of syntax, lexicon (inventory of words or morphemes), and phonology (sounds).


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