speech

noun \ ˈspēch \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of speech

1 a :the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words
b :exchange of spoken words :conversation
2 a :something that is spoken :utterance
b :a usually public discourse :address
b :an individual manner or style of speaking
4 :the power of expressing or communicating thoughts by speaking

Examples of speech in a Sentence

  1. She has to make a speech at the convention.

  2. a graduation speech about embracing future challenges

  3. I was so flustered that I momentarily lost the power of speech.

  4. Slang is used mostly in informal speech.

  5. Many words are more common in speech than in writing.

Recent Examples of speech from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'speech.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of speech

Middle English speche, from Old English sprǣc, spǣc; akin to Old English sprecan to speak — more at speak

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms



SPEECH Defined for English Language Learners

speech

noun

Definition of speech for English Language Learners

  • : a spoken expression of ideas, opinions, etc., that is made by someone who is speaking in front of a group of people

  • : the ability to speak

  • : spoken language


SPEECH Defined for Kids

speech

noun \ ˈspēch \

Definition of speech for Students

1 :the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words
2 :something that is spoken :statement
  • Indeed, there had been so much talk that the steward … informed one and all that such speech went against the will of God …
  • —Avi, Crispin
3 :a public talk
4 :a form of communication (as a language or dialect) used by a particular group
5 :a way of speaking
  • And he was quick to grasp the … rhythms of Lewis's speech and match them.
  • —Virginia Hamilton, M. C. Higgins
6 :the ability to speak
  • I was so surprised, I lost my speech.

Medical Dictionary

speech

noun \ ˈspēch \

medical Definition of speech

:the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words

Law Dictionary

speech

noun

legal Definition of speech

:words or conduct used to communicate or express a thought :expression — see also commercial speech, freedom of speech, free speech, obscene, symbolic speech


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