(spoke; spoken; speaking)
Etymology: Middle English speken, from Old English sprecan, specan; akin to Old High German sprehhan to speak, Greek spharageisthai to crackle
Date: before 12th century
a. to utter words or articulate sounds with the ordinary voice ; talk
(1) to express thoughts, opinions, or feelings orally
(2) to extend a greeting
(3) to be friendly enough to engage in conversation <still were not speaking after the dispute> c. (1) to express oneself before a group (2) to address one's remarks <speak to the issue> 2. a. to make a written statement <his diaries…spoke…of his entrancement with death — Sy Kahn> b. to use such an expression — often used in the phrase so to speak <was at the enemy's gates, so to speak — C. S. Forester> c. to serve as spokesperson <spoke for the whole group> 3. a. to express feelings by other than verbal means <actions speak louder than words> b. signal c. to be interesting or attractive ; appeal <great music…speaks directly to the emotions — A. N. Whitehead> 4. to make a request or claim — used with for; usually used in passive constructions <the seat was already spoken for> 5. to make a characteristic or natural sound <all at once the thunder spoke — George Meredith> 6. a. testify b. to be indicative or suggestive <his gold…spoke of riches in the land — Julian Dana> transitive verb 1. a. (1) to utter with the speaking voice ; pronounce (2) to give a recitation of ; declaim b. to express orally ; declare <free to speak their minds> c. address, accost; especially hail 2. to make known in writing ; state 3. to use or be able to use in speaking <speaks Spanish> 4. to indicate by other than verbal means 5. archaic describe, depict • speakable adjective
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.