say

verb
\ ˈsā How to pronounce say (audio) , Southern also ˈse\
said\ ˈsed How to pronounce said (audio) , especially when subject follows  səd \; saying\ ˈsā-​iŋ How to pronounce saying (audio) \; says\ ˈsez How to pronounce says (audio) , sometimes  ˈsāz , especially when subject follows  səz How to pronounce says (audio) \

Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to express in words : state
b : to state as opinion or belief : declare
b : recite, repeat say your prayers
3a : indicate, show the clock says five minutes after twelve
b : to give expression to : communicate a glance that said all that was necessary
4 : suppose, assume let's say you're right

intransitive verb

: to express oneself : speak
say uncle
: to admit defeat
that is to say
: in other words : in effect
to say nothing of
: not to mention : and notably in addition will need more time, to say nothing of money

say

noun
plural says\ ˈsāz How to pronounce says (audio) , Southern also  ˈsez How to pronounce says (audio) \

Definition of say (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an expression of opinion had my say
2 : a right or power to influence action or decision especially : the authority to make final decisions
3 archaic : something that is said : statement

say

adverb

Definition of say (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : about, approximately the property is worth, say, four million dollars
2 : for example : as if we compress any gas, say oxygen

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Other Words from say

Verb

sayer \ ˈsā-​ər How to pronounce sayer (audio) , ˈser \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for say

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of say in a Sentence

Verb “Is anybody there?” he said. “Good morning,” said the woman behind the counter. I said three words before he interrupted me again. I just stopped by to say hello. He left without saying goodbye. I wanted to say thank you for all you've done for me. She said something about going to the store after work. He said something in French. Anything you say to the police can be used as evidence against you. Don't believe a word he says. Noun Everybody had a say at the meeting. We won't make a decision until all members have had their say. The judge will have the final say on the divorce settlement. He had no say in the matter. Adverb a person consumes, say, 2000 calories a day
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The kids were taken to the Deerfield Beach district offices of the Broward Sheriff’s Office to be questioned, Kane said. Linda Trischitta, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Four children interviewed by police after 'suspicious' fire," 28 Feb. 2018 Birst said of the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps. Maureen Robertson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "NJROTC: ‘Leadership through leadership’," 28 Feb. 2018 Ice coverage rebounded a bit over the weekend, Thoman said on Monday. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Warm storms pummel Bering Sea, leading to ‘crazy’ ice melt-off," 28 Feb. 2018 Grossman said that the company will continue to evaluate its business strategy over the course of this year, with several changes already planned. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "'The World Doesn’t Need Another Diet': Weight Watchers Is Moving Beyond Just Counting Points," 28 Feb. 2018 Auburn coach Mickey Dean said Snow's illness wasn't expected to linger into this week. James Crepea, AL.com, "Auburn softball nearing full strength entering last non-conference event," 28 Feb. 2018 Ghani said a political framework for peace negotiations should be created with a ceasefire and the Taliban recognized as a legitimate political group with an official political office. NBC News, "Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offers peace talks with Taliban ‘without condition’," 28 Feb. 2018 Waymo said the video can be viewed on desktop or mobile, but recommends VR viewers like Google cardboard for a more-immersive experience. Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle, "Waymo offers virtual reality glimpse at riding in driverless car," 28 Feb. 2018 Gaines said that anxiety continued to build over the years. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "WATCH: Joanna Gaines Reveals She Was Bullied in School, and How It Shaped Her as a Parent," 27 Feb. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Motivated by misconceived altruism or tribal loyalty to the Democratic Party, some of the 32 state legislatures (Washington, D.C.’s city council has no say in amending the Constitution) might vote to ratify an amendment ending the electoral college. George Will, Twin Cities, "George Will: Democrats may change their malleable minds about the National Popular Vote," 29 Aug. 2019 By Sunday afternoon, Mr. Pierluisi had appeared to reverse himself, arguing that the Senate had no say and that the courts would settle the issue. New York Times, "The Puerto Rico Governor Started 3 Days Ago. But His Future Is Already in Doubt.," 5 Aug. 2019 In other words, the people Epstein reportedly molested were kept in the dark and had no say in the deal. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Why Alex Acosta Is Resigning as Labor Secretary," 12 July 2019 As has been the case since 2017, managers had no say in the construction of the all-star rosters. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies sending four to All-Star Game: Arenado, Blackmon, Story and Dahl," 30 June 2019 But unlike the human athletes, the horses have no say in the matter. Alex Johnson, NBC News, "Santa Anita's racing season closes with sport of kings on the line," 24 June 2019 Obviously, migrants have no say in how or when to leave. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "Only one aid group’s rescue boat remains in the Mediterranean Sea to help shipwrecked refugees," 9 June 2019 On top of that, the next episode marks the beginning of America getting to vote for the contestants — meaning, from here on out, the judges have no say in the matter whatsoever. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'American Idol' Fans Attack Luke Bryan After Judges' “Huge Mistake” in Top 14 Episode," 9 Apr. 2019 However, the reception was hostile to a presentation by Transforming Age at a Keiro board meeting earlier this year, according to Turner, who said the friction was rooted in giving a say to an organization outside of the Japanese American community. Glenn Nelson, The Seattle Times, "Battle for ‘soul’ of Seattle’s Japanese American community as Keiro Northwest nursing home closes," 16 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'say.' 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 say

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1571, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Adverb

circa 1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for say

Verb

Middle English, from Old English secgan; akin to Old High German sagēn to say, Lithuanian sakyti, Greek ennepein to speak, tell

Adverb

from imperative of say entry 1

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Statistics for say

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Time Traveler for say

The first known use of say was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for say

say

verb
How to pronounce say (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use your voice to express (something) with words
: to express (an opinion)
: to express (a fact) with certainty

say

noun

English Language Learners Definition of say (Entry 2 of 2)

: an opportunity to express your opinion
: the power to decide or help decide something

say

verb
\ ˈsā How to pronounce say (audio) \
said\ ˈsed \; saying\ ˈsā-​iŋ \

Kids Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to express in words He said that she would be late. What does the card say?
2 : to state as an opinion or decision : declare I say you are wrong.
3 : repeat entry 1 sense 2, recite I said my prayers.
4 : indicate sense 2, show The clock says half past ten.
5 : to consider as a possibility or example Can you spare, say, 20 dollars?

say

noun

Kids Definition of say (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an expression of opinion We all had a say at the meeting.
2 : the power to decide or help decide We had no say in the matter.

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More from Merriam-Webster on say

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for say

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with say

Spanish Central: Translation of say

Nglish: Translation of say for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of say for Arabic Speakers

Comments on say

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