speech

noun
\ ˈspēch \

Definition of speech

1a : the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words
b : exchange of spoken words : conversation
2a : 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

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Examples of speech in a Sentence

She has to make a speech at the convention. a graduation speech about embracing future challenges I was so flustered that I momentarily lost the power of speech. Slang is used mostly in informal speech. Many words are more common in speech than in writing.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In an hour-long speech after taking an oath to deliver economic prosperity, Mr. Maduro repeated routine claims of an international conspiracy to overthrow his government. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "Venezuelan Leader Starts Second Term With Grim Outlook," 10 Jan. 2019 Glenn Close surprised even herself (and gave an incredible speech). Vogue, "These Were the 2019 Golden Globes Most Viral Moments," 7 Jan. 2019 The actor delivered an important, inspiring speech to the audience that's necessary reading. Glamour, "Viola Davis Deserves an Oscar for Her Bold Glamour Women of the Year Speech," 12 Nov. 2018 Here’s James Vincent in The Verge: Speaking at a privacy conference in Brussels, Cook gave an impassioned and forceful speech. Casey Newton, The Verge, "How China complicates Apple’s chest-thumping about privacy," 25 Oct. 2018 During her acceptance speech, Tay shouted out everyone on her tour, including her opening acts Camila and Charli XCX. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "Did You Catch This Super Sweet Moment Between Camila Cabello and Taylor Swift at the 2018 AMAs?!," 10 Oct. 2018 While making a speech on stage about Keller, the Duchess wore Pippa Small earrings and an arm full of bangles made by artisans of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Afghanistan. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Top 5 Favorite Jewelry Brands of All Time," 2 Jan. 2019 In a speech on December 20, Putin warned of the risk of nuclear war because of the US’s decision to abandon Cold War-era weapons treaties. Jen Kirby, Vox, "The 7 biggest foreign news stories to watch in 2019, from Brexit to North Korea," 24 Dec. 2018 During their visit to New Zealand, the couple celebrated the country's 125th anniversary of women's suffrage, and Meghan gave an empowering speech on feminism. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Harry Took a Gorgeous Photo of Meghan Markle During Royal Tour," 1 Nov. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of speech

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for speech

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

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Statistics for speech

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for speech

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

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More Definitions for speech

speech

noun

English Language Learners Definition of speech

: 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

noun
\ ˈspēch \

Kids Definition of speech

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.

speech

noun
\ ˈspēch \

Medical Definition of speech

: the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on speech

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with speech

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for speech

Spanish Central: Translation of speech

Nglish: Translation of speech for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of speech for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about speech

Comments on speech

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