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

The L!VE Cafe event included performances by spoken word artists Jamaica West and Jasmine Sims, who took turns reciting poetry and getting the crowd to join in on songs. Megann Horstead, chicagotribune.com, "'It belongs to all of us': L!VE Cafe hosts Juneteenth celebration in Oak Park," 21 June 2018 Among those selected for the fall Everytown camp was Carmel Evans, a soft-spoken 18-year-old who attended a program for students with emotional disturbance at Andrew P. Hill High School in San Jose. Karen De Sa, BostonGlobe.com, "Teens pushed to the brink at ‘leadership’ camps," 18 June 2018 Among those selected for the fall Everytown camp was Carmel Evans, a soft-spoken 18-year-old who attended a program for students with emotional disturbance at Andrew P. Hill High School in San Jose. San Francisco Chronicle, "A Retreat’s Risky Lessons," 14 June 2018 Wolf is soft-spoken and chooses his words carefully. NBC News, "Primaries set up November races in Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Oregon," 16 May 2018 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

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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Statistics for spoken

Last Updated

31 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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More from Merriam-Webster on spoken

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with spoken

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for spoken

Spanish Central: Translation of spoken

Nglish: Translation of spoken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of spoken for Arabic Speakers

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).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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