Definition of speech
1a : the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken wordsb : exchange of spoken words : conversation
4 : the power of expressing or communicating thoughts by speaking
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.
Origin and Etymology of speech
Middle English speche, from Old English sprǣc, spǣc; akin to Old English sprecan to speak — more at speak
First Known Use: before 12th century
SPEECH Defined for English Language Learners
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
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 Definition of speech
: the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words
Legal Definition of speech
: words or conduct used to communicate or express a thought : expression
Learn More about speech
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up speech? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).