Definition of speak
1a : to utter words or articulate sounds with the ordinary voice : talkb (1) : to express thoughts, opinions, or feelings orally (2) : to extend a greeting (3) : to be friendly enough to engage in conversation still were not speaking after the disputec (1) : to express oneself before a group (2) : to address one's remarks speak to the issue
2a : to make a written statement his diaries … spoke … of his entrancement with death — Sy Kahnb : to use such an expression —often used in the phrase so to speak was at the enemy's gates, so to speak — C. S. Foresterc : to serve as spokesperson
3a : to express feelings by other than verbal means actions speak louder than wordsb : signalc : to be interesting or attractive : appeal great music … speaks directly to the emotions — A. N. Whitehead
4 : to make a request or claim —used with for —usually used in passive constructions the seat was already spoken for
5 : to make a characteristic or natural sound all at once the thunder spoke — George Meredith
6a : testifyb : to be indicative or suggestive his gold … spoke of riches in the land — Julian Dana
2 : to make known in writing : state
speakableplay \ˈspē-kə-bəl\ adjective
to speak of
Examples of speak in a Sentence
Have you two spoken since yesterday?
She and I spoke this morning.
He never speaks at the meetings.
Without speaking, she walked from the room.
They were speaking in Japanese.
When I said you were my best friend, I was speaking sincerely.
She must be speaking the truth.
Not a word was spoken between them the whole time.
He has laryngitis and can't speak.
She speaks with a Southern accent.
Recent Examples of speak from the Web
Latest Brexit talks end today; Barnier due to speak to press May will host a meeting of business executives to talk Brexit ↵ Sign up to receive the Brexit Bulletin in your inbox, and follow @Brexit on Twitter.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has yet to speak to Elliott, but plans to do so on Friday when the players report for pre-camp physicals.
Murphy, a Newcastle United fan, spoke about his new club in his first interview.
This was a group that proved more than the sum of its parts over the latter part of last season, those sack and tackle-for-loss numbers speaking to that.
Officer Noor has so far declined to speak with state investigators about the shooting.
And speaking of tiny: The microscopic superstars of intergalactic survival, the tardigrades, probably won’t get wiped out until the sun swallows the Earth.
While the NRA never explicitly states a racial bias against black and brown people, to many, their actions—and, in some cases, their silences—speak volumes.
Martinez spoke with reporters before the game about the ongoing trade speculation.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'speak.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of speak
Middle English speken, from Old English sprecan, specan; akin to Old High German sprehhan to speak, Greek spharageisthai to crackle
First Known Use: before 12th centurySee Words from the same year
Definition of -speak
—used to form especially nonce words denoting a particular kind of jargon Californiaspeak
Origin and Etymology of -speak
SPEAK Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of speak for English Language Learners
: to say words in order to express your thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc., to someone : to talk to someone
: to talk about a particular subject or person
: to say words to express yourself in a particular way
Definition of -speak for English Language Learners
—used to form words that refer to the special languages or words used for particular activities or by particular groups
SPEAK Defined for Kids
Definition of speak for Students
1 : to utter words : talk He speaks too fast.
2 : to utter in words Does he speak the truth?
3 : to mention in speech or writing She spoke of being ill.
4 : to use or be able to use in talking Can you speak Spanish?
: to express an opinion openly
1 : to speak loudly and clearly
2 : to express an opinion openly
Seen and Heard
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