\ 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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Lolita devotees would say it’s more subversive than infantilizing. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, 2 June 2021 The Canadian Space Agency did not say whether the debris was natural or manmade. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 2 June 2021 That’s not to say that there wasn’t plenty of economic pain last year. Fortune, 2 June 2021 Most Japanese, including billionaire businessman Masayoshi Son, say it’s time to swallow the financial losses and cancel the Games to protect the nation from a worse pandemic. Megumi Fujikawa, WSJ, 31 May 2021 Organizers say it’s the largest coordinated effort to save the Western monarch, which spends winters in coastal California, migrates to Central California to breed and then can travel as far as Idaho and Washington and back. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 May 2021 Of course, some would say that there is in fact a security threat over Belarusian airspace. Julia Buckley, CNN, 30 May 2021 Opponents of the North Carolina bill say it’s a solution in search of a problem. Fox News, 30 May 2021 Opponents of the North Carolina bill say it’s a solution in search of a problem. Bryan Anderson,, 29 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But City Council would have to approve any projects and voters would get the final say. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, 1 May 2021 As a state lawmaker, Girod doesn’t get a say in what happens in Washington, D.C. oregonlive, 7 Apr. 2021 As the bills are hashed out on the Hill over the coming months, every faction of even one or two or three members will get a say, knowing that an entire bill could go down with just their votes. Susan B. Glasser, The New Yorker, 1 Apr. 2021 Plano’s city council will get a final say in approving the zoning changes for the development. Steve Brown, Dallas News, 17 Mar. 2021 Voters don’t get a say in filling vacancies in the Illinois House. Greg Bishop, Washington Examiner, 22 Feb. 2021 If the committee approves Burley’s nomination, the full council will get the final say in August. Joshua Fechter,, 30 June 2020 Augustine, said the Legislature would need to approve the movement of gambling permits, and Miami-Dade County voters would get a say in a local referendum. Skyler Swisher,, 21 May 2021 For better or for worse, Leonard and George will have a large say on whether the Clippers add their names in the league history books during the playoffs. Mark Medina, USA TODAY, 21 May 2021

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


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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for say

Last Updated

4 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Say.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for say



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



English Language Learners Definition of say (Entry 2 of 2)

: an opportunity to express your opinion
: the power to decide or help decide something


\ 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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for say

Nglish: Translation of say for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of say for Arabic Speakers


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