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
speakableplay \ˈspē-kə-bəl\ adjective
to speak of
Examples of speak in a sentence
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 and Etymology 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
Definition of -speak
—used to form especially nonce words denoting a particular kind of jargon <Californiaspeak>
Origin and Etymology of -speak
SPEAK Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of speak for English Language Learners
: 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
Definition of -speak for English Language Learners
—used to form words that refer to the special languages or words used for particular activities or by particular groups
SPEAK Defined for Kids
Definition of speak for Students
1 : to utter words : talk <He speaks too fast.>
2 : to utter in words <Does he speak the truth?>
3 : to mention in speech or writing <She spoke of being ill.>
4 : to use or be able to use in talking <Can you speak Spanish?>
: to express an opinion openly
1 : to speak loudly and clearly
2 : to express an opinion openly
Seen and Heard
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