spo·ken | \ˈspō-kən \

Definition of spoken 

1 : delivered by word of mouth : oral

2 : characterized by speaking in (such) a manner used in combination soft-spokenplainspoken

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Synonyms & Antonyms for spoken


oral, uttered, vocal, voiced



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Examples of spoken in a Sentence

a spoken agreement is too easily broken a politician who knows the power of the spoken word

Recent Examples on the Web

Tavares is a soft-spoken, monotoned superstar whose personal story rarely delves deeper than his supreme ability to pass and shoot pucks. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "In Joining an Up-and-Coming Maple Leafs Squad, John Tavares Gets to Live Out His Dream," 2 July 2018 The program, a mix of spoken word and jazz, will feature Anastasia recounting tales of organized crime with musical interludes by saxophonist/flautist Denis DiBlasio and guitarist Brian Betz. Molly Eichel, Philly.com, "'Mobsters and the Songs They Love': A new show exploring the intersection of music and the mafia," 13 June 2018 China allowed her to leave the country Tuesday, ending an eight-year house arrest that made the soft-spoken, chain-smoking 57-year-old poet with a shaven head a tragic icon known around the world. Gerry Shih, The Seattle Times, "Nobel widow allowed to leave China after long house arrest," 10 July 2018 This year, the event’s organizers, the Recording Academy, will present awards in 84 categories ranging from rap, rock, and pop to classical, spoken word, and comedy. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "Everything You Need to Know About the 2018 Grammys," 26 Jan. 2018 But his blunt and plain-spoken opinions have won him admirers in conservative circles. David G. Savage, latimes.com, "Judge Raymond Kethledge from Michigan balances courtroom with solitude and nature," 9 July 2018 The ordeal of Fu Xuedong—an owlish, soft-spoken man who seems stunned by his sudden notoriety—has vividly revealed the extent to which China’s commitment to the rule of law is conditional. The Economist, "Xi’s world order: July 2024," 7 July 2018 Lien played live, bowing, plucking and looping her instrument to mesmerizing effect; her spoken exposition was less compelling than her musicianship. Claudia Bauer, SFChronicle.com, "SF choreographer Amy Seiwert’s risky Sketch lab pays off," 29 June 2018 The Senate’s only immigrant and first-ever Asian-American woman, Mazie Hirono—a Democrat from Hawaii—is often assumed to have politics as polite and staid as her soft-spoken style. Erika Fry, Fortune, "Big Pharma's Leading Lady, Republicans' #MeToo Moment, and A Women-Majority Cabinet in Spain: Broadsheet for June 8," 8 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'spoken.' 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 spoken

1560, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spoken

past participle of speak

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Phrases Related to spoken

be spoken for

Statistics for spoken

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for spoken

The first known use of spoken was in 1560

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More Definitions for spoken



English Language Learners Definition of spoken

: using speech and not writing

: speaking in a specified manner


Kids Definition of spoken

 (Entry 1 of 2)

past participle of speak


spo·ken | \ˈspō-kən \

Kids Definition of spoken (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : expressed in speech : oral a spoken message

2 : used in speaking the spoken language

3 : speaking in a specified manner soft-spoken

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Comments on spoken

What made you want to look up spoken? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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