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

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

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 Thankfully for Robben, however, Bayern would reach the final again the next season, and the winger would have a huge say in deciding the outcome. SI.com, "Arjen Robben: The Flying Dutchman Who Became a Modern Legend at Bayern Munich," 16 Sep. 2019 The nuclear industry has long struggled to combat fears about safety, which many proponents of atomic energy say are overblown. James Griffiths, CNN, "China's gambling on a nuclear future, but is it destined to lose?," 13 Sep. 2019 The Afghan people, essentially shut out of the talks, want a say in their fate. Washington Post, "Trump’s US-Taliban move pushes Afghans toward fragile vote," 11 Sep. 2019 At one meeting last month, Limón said, there were 19 people at the table who had a say in the legislation now on the governor’s desk. Rosanna Xiastaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Bill to open Hollister Ranch beaches to the public heads to Gov. Newsom. Will he sign it?," 9 Sep. 2019 Dance Class Dancing at your wedding is as important, and expected, as say, cutting the cake. Alix Strauss, New York Times, "Back to School Before You Say ‘I Do’," 3 Sep. 2019 The measures chipped away at Kaul and Evers' power, including by giving lawmakers a say in how some cases are settled. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "GOP lawmakers hire lawyer to sign secrecy pledge to end standoff with attorney general," 29 Aug. 2019 She is also thrilled to have a say in who her new country’s leaders will be. Steve Sadin, chicagotribune.com, "‘Mosaic’ of immigrants take oath and become American citizens," 20 Aug. 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

Look-up Popularity

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 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

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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