say

verb
\ ˈsā , Southern also ˈse\
said\ ˈsed , especially when subject follows  səd \; saying\ ˈsā-​iŋ \; says\ ˈsez , sometimes  ˈsāz , especially when subject follows  səz \

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 , Southern also  ˈsez \

Definition of say (Entry 2 of 3)

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

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 , ˈser \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for say

Synonyms: Verb

articulate, bring out, enunciate, pass, speak, state, talk, tell, utter, verbalize, vocalize

Synonyms: Noun

say-so, voice, vote

Synonyms: Adverb

about, approximately, around, like, more or less, much, near, plus or minus, roughly, some

Antonyms: Adverb

exactly, precisely

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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

But another vote was far more consequential: Parliament approved an amendment to May’s deal that will give them a say in what happens next if May’s Brexit deal is defeated next week. Jen Kirby, Vox, "UK Parliament just dealt a blow to Theresa May. What’s next for Brexit?," 6 Dec. 2018 That means legislators who live hundreds of miles from the city, and may never go near the place by land, sea or automobile, have a say on these entirely local issues. New York Times, "Senator Does a U-Turn on Speed Cameras in School Zones," 12 July 2018 Wright reports that management and some of the players will have a say on whether or not to offer Leonard the extension, but the final decision will come from ownership. Khadrice Rollins, SI.com, "Report: Spurs Planning 'All-Hands-On-Deck Summer Meeting' With Kawhi Leonard," 25 Apr. 2018 Another perk to being the big boss at the Justice Department is that Sessions might be able to have a say on things like subpoenas and indictments in the Cohen investigation. Monique Judge, The Root, "Why Isn’t Jeff Sessions Recusing Himself From the Michael Cohen Investigation?," 24 Apr. 2018 The Trump administration has already sought to have the issue reviewed by the Supreme Court, which typically prefers to have the final say when a government program or major executive action is invalidated by a lower court. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Appeals Court Rules Against Trump on Canceling DACA Protections," 8 Nov. 2018 The final say in fashion, Wintour hosts the Met Gala each year, attracting top houses and stars from Scarlett Johansson to Amal Clooney, though she's rumored to be leaving Conde Nast soon. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Nike Launching Vogue Air Jordans That Are Anna Wintour-Approved," 13 July 2018 General managers like to hire their own front-office staff and have final say on every decision. Keith Pompey, Philly.com, "Sixers taking their time to find the right GM," 9 July 2018 That panel will recommend discipline, but the Senate and Assembly will still have the final say in what punishment is doled out. Melody Gutierrez, SFChronicle.com, "California lawmakers hand sex-harassment probes to independent investigators," 25 June 2018

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 1

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

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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

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 \
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with say

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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