public speaking


Definition of public speaking 

1 : the act or process of making speeches in public

2 : the art of effective oral communication with an audience

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Synonyms for public speaking


elocution, oratory

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Examples of public speaking in a Sentence

He has a fear of public speaking. She has a gift for public speaking. a book on public speaking
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Recent Examples on the Web

No one from the public spoke up about the issue and none of the board of alderman had anything to say about the request. Jesse Wright,, "Burr Ridge moves to annex Willow Springs property," 26 June 2018 In an unrelated item, several members of the public spoke against a recent proposal to create a connection from Hanson Lane to Warnock Drive via Keyser Road, Equestrian Trail and/or Royal Vista. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Garden advocate wants Ramona Street completion off priority list," 11 July 2018 Two members of the public spoke in favor of McKenzie’s request, and none spoke in opposition. Nyssa Kruse,, "Alcohol License Approved For Newington Ax Throwing Venue," 27 June 2018 Although most people list public speaking before large groups as one of their fears, the people in one local club see it as an opportunity. Patricia Dillon, Houston Chronicle, "Woodlands Toastmasters helps improve verbal communication skills," 6 Jan. 2018 No one from the public spoke against the Edison OP plan Monday. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "The Edison OP plan has been updated and moves on to council. Many say, not so fast. | The Kansas City Star," 15 May 2018 No one from the public spoke for or against the measure during the committee's meeting. Bob Warren,, "St. Tammany Parish School Board set to trim property tax rate," 14 May 2018 Several members of the public spoke about the housing element, including traffic concerns and opposition to adding L7, a parcel of land near Quail Gardens Lane, to the available plots for affordable housing. Laura Groch,, "How they voted, Jan. 21," 21 Jan. 2018 Also encouraging is the fact that Shapira calls public speaking a skill, not a talent. Anthea Levi,, "I'm Terrified to Give the Maid of Honor Speech at My Sister's Wedding—Here's What I'm Doing to Prep," 6 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'public speaking.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of public speaking

1759, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for public speaking

Last Updated

26 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for public speaking

The first known use of public speaking was in 1759

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More Definitions for public speaking

public speaking


English Language Learners Definition of public speaking

: the act or skill of speaking to a usually large group of people

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lying above or upon

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