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


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



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

Other Words from say


sayer \ ˈsā-​ər How to pronounce say (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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The bullets exploded through his left arm, stomach, pelvis and left leg, causing such destruction to his 5-year-old body that doctors still can’t say for certain how many bullets hit him. Holly Bailey, Washington Post, 13 Aug. 2022 The author was on stage to speak at the Chautauqua Institution, about 70 miles south of Buffalo, when authorities say Matar confronted him. Erik Ortiz, NBC News, 13 Aug. 2022 The witness, who was about 75 feet from the stage, did not hear the attacker say anything or see a weapon. Paul P. Murphy, CNN, 13 Aug. 2022 Experts in extremism worry a prosecution of Trump will lead to more violence from the far right, and extremists say they are primed and ready to act on the former President’s behalf. Will Carless, USA TODAY, 13 Aug. 2022 Did Deshaun say anything to you about his three series about pushing the tempo? Ashley Bastock, cleveland, 13 Aug. 2022 The Faisons were quick to sign on after opening their farm in 2019 and say many of their visitors find them because of recommendations from other businesses. Emily Cataneo, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 Aug. 2022 The two suspects briefly left the store, but police say that May prompted Lark to return and fire three shots. Paul Best, Fox News, 12 Aug. 2022 Yellow Dev 13 is another group from Iran, and the PwC presenters say the collective appears to be motivated by espionage. Kim Key, PCMAG, 12 Aug. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The change in finance leadership comes as Revlon’s stock price has rallied in recent weeks, leading shareholders to press for more say in the bankruptcy process. Jennifer Williams-alvarez, WSJ, 9 Aug. 2022 Those who own and operate these historic houses have a significant say over how the American Founding is taught. Brenda M. Hafera, National Review, 7 Aug. 2022 Sirras led a team that tracked changes in say-on-pay votes during the 2022 proxy season. Lila Maclellan, Fortune, 5 Aug. 2022 Both Hampton and Harvey believed that people in recovery needed a greater say in policy decisions, instead of being told what to do by doctors and scientists. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, 5 Aug. 2022 Prosecutors alleged that Rudolph decided to kill his wife to regain control over his life after Bianca Rudolph asked for more say in the couple’s finances and demanded that Milliron be fired. Colleen Slevin, USA TODAY, 3 Aug. 2022 For some, questions linger about the possibility of renovating the Cuyahoga County jail, but those with final say over its fate seem set on building a new facility outside of downtown. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland, 1 Aug. 2022 Prosecutors alleged that Rudolph decided to kill his wife to regain control over his life after Bianca Rudolph asked for more say in the couple's finances and demanded that Milliron be fired. CBS News, 1 Aug. 2022 Lanning will have some say in his preference on conference realignment, but that decision will come down to presidents and chancellors, athletic directors, conference commissioners and television executives. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 28 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of say


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


1571, in the meaning defined at sense 3


circa 1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for say


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


from imperative of say entry 1

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Time Traveler for say

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

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Last Updated

15 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Say.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for say


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

Kids Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to express in words
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?



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on say

Nglish: Translation of say for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of say for Arabic Speakers


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