\ ˈsā How to pronounce say (audio) , Southern also ˈse \
said\ ˈsed How to pronounce say (audio) , especially when subject follows  səd \; saying\ ˈsā-​iŋ How to pronounce say (audio) \; says\ ˈsez How to pronounce say (audio) , sometimes  ˈsāz , especially when subject follows  səz How to pronounce say (audio) \

Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to express in words : state
b : to state as opinion or belief : declare
b : recite, repeat say your prayers
3a : indicate, show the clock says five minutes after twelve
b : to give expression to : communicate a glance that said all that was necessary
4 : suppose, assume let's say you're right

intransitive verb

: to express oneself : speak
say uncle
: to admit defeat
that is to say
: in other words : in effect
to say nothing of
: not to mention : and notably in addition will need more time, to say nothing of money


plural says\ ˈsāz How to pronounce say (audio) , Southern also  ˈsez How to pronounce say (audio) \

Definition of say (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : an expression of opinion had my say
2 : a right or power to influence action or decision especially : the authority to make final decisions
3 archaic : something that is said : statement



Definition of say (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : about, approximately the property is worth, say, four million dollars
2 : for example : as if we compress any gas, say oxygen

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Other Words from say


sayer \ ˈsā-​ər How to pronounce say (audio) , ˈser \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for say

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of say in a Sentence

Verb “Is anybody there?” he said. “Good morning,” said the woman behind the counter. I said three words before he interrupted me again. I just stopped by to say hello. He left without saying goodbye. I wanted to say thank you for all you've done for me. She said something about going to the store after work. He said something in French. Anything you say to the police can be used as evidence against you. Don't believe a word he says. Noun Everybody had a say at the meeting. We won't make a decision until all members have had their say. The judge will have the final say on the divorce settlement. He had no say in the matter. Adverb a person consumes, say, 2000 calories a day
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Buthow the interstate became a hard border for wolves is less a result of pure scientific review, say scientists and advocates, and more a reflection of political might. Lindsey Botts, The Arizona Republic, 18 Sep. 2021 In South LA, community leaders say, the priorities for many in the Muslim community still center on social justice, strengthening the family and obtaining economic parity. Los Angeles Times, 17 Sep. 2021 What did Derek Frazier say to you at that moment before the vote, before your speech? Lynette Rice,, 17 Sep. 2021 Since Apple introduced its App Store, in 2008, any money spent on or through apps, whether, say, a subscription to Tinder or extra lives in Candy Crush, were subject to the thirty-per-cent fee. The New Yorker, 17 Sep. 2021 Victims' lawyers, however, say interviews can be conducted virtually. Reuters, CNN, 17 Sep. 2021 Then again, the previous report did say that Sylvie and Mobius will appear in the Doctor Strange 2 sequel. Chris Smith, BGR, 17 Sep. 2021 More encouraging, the researchers say, is that these antibody levels reached or exceeded—in some cases as high as by 4.4 times—those produced in the first month after two doses of the vaccine—even against variants like Beta, Gamma and Delta. Alice Park, Time, 16 Sep. 2021 Part of the issue, insiders say, may be the scope of these executives’ roles. Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The applications that pass the background investigations will be sent to the new Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, which has the final say on awarding licenses. Live! Pamela Wood,, 10 Sep. 2021 The county can weigh in on consultants chosen to provide care in jails, but the sheriff’s department will have the final say on those hires. San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 Sep. 2021 But the extremist group’s supreme leader, who has the final say on all political, religious and military decisions, has remained in the shadows. Washington Post, 1 Sep. 2021 McCullough, who took over as Florida State’s president this month, said Friday that the system’s Board of Governors has the final say on what can be mandated for universities. Ryan Dailey,, 30 Aug. 2021 The governor's team argued that parents should have the final say on masks and that there's no clear evidence masks prevent Covid-19 spread. NBC News, 27 Aug. 2021 Who has the final say on issues like mask mandates and vaccine requirements? Eileen Finan,, 26 Aug. 2021 Jin also added that BTS doesn’t want HYBE, the larger entertainment company that owns Big Hit Music, to have the final say on their career, remembering the band’s 2018 contract renewal with the company. Justin Curto, Vulture, 26 Aug. 2021 According to the standard operating procedure that describes the board, Flynn has the final say on whether changes should be made as a result of each review. Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 23 Aug. 2021

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


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


1571, in the meaning defined at sense 3


circa 1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for say


Middle English, from Old English secgan; akin to Old High German sagēn to say, Lithuanian sakyti, Greek ennepein to speak, tell


from imperative of say entry 1

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Time Traveler for say

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near say



Say's Law

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Say.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for say



English Language Learners Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to use your voice to express (something) with words
: to express (an opinion)
: to express (a fact) with certainty



English Language Learners Definition of say (Entry 2 of 2)

: an opportunity to express your opinion
: the power to decide or help decide something


\ ˈsā How to pronounce say (audio) \
said\ ˈsed \; saying\ ˈsā-​iŋ \

Kids Definition of say

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to express in words
2 : to state as an opinion or decision : declare I say you are wrong.
3 : repeat entry 1 sense 2, recite I said my prayers.
4 : indicate sense 2, show The clock says half past ten.
5 : to consider as a possibility or example Can you spare, say, 20 dollars?



Kids Definition of say (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an expression of opinion We all had a say at the meeting.
2 : the power to decide or help decide We had no say in the matter.

More from Merriam-Webster on say

Nglish: Translation of say for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of say for Arabic Speakers


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