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 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 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

While not quite the burner of say, Jesiah Irish, Lindsey is fast, and very quick off the line of scrimmage. oregonlive.com, "Oregon State football, top 19 players for 2019: No. 18 Tyjon Lindsey," 4 July 2019 The clear aim is to intimidate civilians into giving up hope of a say in who rules them. The Economist, "How to stop Sudan sliding into war," 14 June 2019 Many people simply want more of a say over the decisions that affect their nations and their daily lives. Matthew Goodwin, WSJ, "Europe’s Populists Are Here to Stay," 14 June 2019 Social media has given—for better or worse—the average Muslim more of a say in his religion, a role that was earlier performed by religious scholars. Shoaib Daniyal, Quartz India, "Haleem or Daleem? WhatsApp university fuels debate over Ramzan delicacy," 4 June 2019 Sarah also gets a significant amount of say in what goes on in Anne’s domain, making decisions like whether the nation should go to war and how the palace is run. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "What Is The Favourite Movie About? It's a Rom-Com of a Sort," 23 Feb. 2019 Members of Call to Action want leaders in the African-American community to have more of a say in the operation of the school, including the development of academic and behavioral standards and curriculum. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Howard Fuller emerges as central figure in battle over the future of MPS North Division High School," 5 July 2018 The budget would give CDT more of a say in choosing operations and maintenance contracts. Adam Ashton, sacbee, "Disabled contractors can keep California prison jobs despite SEIU complaint," 13 June 2018 You and your sweetie will have more of a say in events and plans this year. BostonGlobe.com, "Horoscope," 11 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about say

Statistics for say

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for say

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up say? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to shake or wave menacingly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!