verb (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 intransitive verb 1. a. to utter words or articulate sounds with the ordinary voice ; talk b. (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, depictspeakable adjective

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • speak — W1S1 [spi:k] v past tense spoke [spəuk US spouk] past participle spoken [ˈspəukən US ˈspou ] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(in conversation)¦ 2¦(say words)¦ 3¦(language)¦ 4¦(formal speech)¦ 5¦(express ideas/opinions)¦ 6 so to speak 7 speak your mind …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • speak — [ spik ] (past tense spoke [ spouk ] ; past participle spo|ken [ spoukən ] ) verb *** ▸ 1 talk about something or to someone ▸ 2 use voice to talk ▸ 3 talk particular language ▸ 4 give formal speech ▸ 5 express ideas/thoughts ▸ 6 talk on… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Speak — Ст …   Википедия

  • Speak — Speak, v. i. [imp. {Spoke}({Spake}Archaic); p. p. {Spoken}({Spoke}, Obs. or Colloq.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Speaking}.] [OE. speken, AS. specan, sprecan; akin to OF.ries. spreka, D. spreken, OS. spreken, G. sprechen, OHG. sprehhan, and perhaps to Skr …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • speak — [spēk] vi. spoke, spoken, speaking [ME speken < OE specan, earlier sprecan, akin to Ger sprechen < IE base * sp(h)er(e) g , to strew, sprinkle > SPARK1, L spargere, to sprinkle: basic sense “to scatter (words)”] 1. to utter words with… …   English World dictionary

  • Speak — can mean: * Speech communication * SPEAK (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness for Kids), a Maryland based organization for suicide prevention * Speak (artist), the Hungarian rap artist and internet phenomenon famous for his anti war video *… …   Wikipedia

  • speak — ► VERB (past spoke; past part. spoken) 1) say something. 2) (speak to) talk to in order to advise, pass on information, etc. 3) communicate in or be able to communicate in (a specified language). 4) (speak for) express the views or position of …   English terms dictionary

  • Speak — Speak, v. t. 1. To utter with the mouth; to pronounce; to utter articulately, as human beings. [1913 Webster] They sat down with him upn ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him. Job. ii. 13. [1913 Webster] 2. To utter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • speak — (v.) O.E. specan, variant of sprecan to speak (class V strong verb; past tense spræc, pp. sprecen), from P.Gmc. *sprekanan (Cf. O.S. sprecan, O.Fris. spreka, M.Du. spreken, O.H.G. sprehhan, Ger. sprechen to speak, O.N. spraki rumor …   Etymology dictionary

  • speak — speak, talk, converse can all mean to articulate words so as to express one s thoughts. Speak is, in general, the broad term and may refer to utterances of any kind, however coherent or however broken or disconnected, and with or without… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • -speak — [spiːk] suffix added to other words to form nouns that mean the special language of a particular business or activity, especially slang or technical words that are difficult for ordinary people to understand: • I can t understand this… …   Financial and business terms

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