up·​speak | \ ˈəp-ˌspēk How to pronounce upspeak (audio) \
variants: or less commonly up-speak

Definition of upspeak

: uptalk Speak with confidence. Lots of people have speech patterns that convey uncertainty. Eliminate upspeak—giving the last syllable a higher inflection. — Kathryn Rem, The State Journal-Register (Springfield, Illinois), 21 June 1998 … the giddy upspeak of the L.A. Basin (Hi? My name is Mary?) …— Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2000

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Other Words from upspeak

upspeak or less commonly up-speak intransitive verb upspoke\ ˈəp-​ˌspōk How to pronounce upspeak (audio) \ also up-spoke; upspoken\ ˈəp-​ˌspō-​kən How to pronounce upspeak (audio) \ also up-spoken; upspeaking also up-speaking; upspeaks also up-speaks
There's this linguist? Cynthia McLemore? Who studied female students at the University of Texas? Who up-speak a lot? And she found out that up-talk may very well serve a useful purpose. All those up inflections? They draw attention to what one says, McLemore claims. — Bonnie McGrath, Chicago Tribune, 28 Nov. 1993

First Known Use of upspeak

1994, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about upspeak

Time Traveler for upspeak Time Traveler

The first known use of upspeak was in 1994

See more words from the same year

Statistics for upspeak

Cite this Entry

“Upspeak.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster
Comments on upspeak

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!