1

say

verb \ ˈsā , Southern also ˈse \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of say

said play \ˈsed, especially when subject follows səd\; saying play \ˈsā-iŋ\; says play \ˈsez, sometimes ˈsāz, especially when subject follows səz\
transitive verb
1 a : to express in words : state
b : to state as opinion or belief : declare
2 a : utter, pronounce
b : recite, repeat
  • say your prayers
3 a : 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

sayer

play \ˈsā-ər, ˈser\ noun
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

Examples of say in a Sentence

  1. “Is anybody there?” he said.

  2. “Good morning,” said the woman behind the counter.

  3. I said three words before he interrupted me again.

  4. I just stopped by to say hello.

  5. He left without saying goodbye.

  6. I wanted to say thank you for all you've done for me.

  7. She said something about going to the store after work.

  8. He said something in French.

  9. Anything you say to the police can be used as evidence against you.

  10. Don't believe a word he says.

Origin and Etymology of say

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


2

say

noun

Definition of say

plural says play \ˈsāz, Southern also ˈsez\
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

Examples of say in a Sentence

  1. Everybody had a say at the meeting.

  2. We won't make a decision until all members have had their say.

  3. The judge will have the final say on the divorce settlement.

  4. He had no say in the matter.

Recent Examples of say from the Web

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

1571


3

say

adverb

Definition of say

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

Examples of say in a Sentence

  1. a person consumes, say, 2000 calories a day

Origin and Etymology of say

from imperative of 1say


SAY Defined for English Language Learners

say

verb

Definition of say for English Language Learners

  • : to use your voice to express (something) with words

  • : to express (an opinion)

  • : to express (a fact) with certainty


say

noun

Definition of say for English Language Learners

  • : an opportunity to express your opinion

  • : the power to decide or help decide something


SAY Defined for Kids

1

say

verb \ ˈsā \

Definition of say for Students

said \ˈsed\; saying \ˈsā-iŋ\
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 : 1repeat 2, recite
  • I said my prayers.
4 : indicate 2, show
  • The clock says half past ten.
5 : to consider as a possibility or example
  • Can you spare, say, 20 dollars?

2

say

noun

Definition of say for Students

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.


Seen and Heard

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