speak

See also: -speak

Contents

EnglishEdit

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Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English speken ‎(to speak), from Old English specan ‎(to speak), alteration of earlier sprecan ‎(to speak), from Proto-Germanic *sprekaną ‎(to speak, make a sound), from Proto-Indo-European *spreg- ‎(to make a sound, utter, speak). Cognate with West Frisian sprekke, Low German spreken ‎(to speak), Dutch spreken ‎(to speak), German sprechen ‎(to speak), Swedish språk ‎(language) and also with Albanian shpreh ‎(to utter, voice, express) through Indo-European.

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

speak ‎(third-person singular simple present speaks, present participle speaking, simple past spoke or (archaic) spake, past participle spoken)

David Lynch speaks before a group.
  1. (intransitive) To communicate with one's voice, to say words out loud.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 13, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes. He said that if you wanted to do anything for them, you must rule them, not pamper them.
    I was so surprised I couldn't speak.
    You're speaking too fast.
  2. (intransitive) To have a conversation.
    It's been ages since we've spoken.
  3. (by extension) To communicate or converse by some means other than orally, such as writing or facial expressions.
    He spoke of it in his diary.
    Speak to me only with your eyes.
    Actions speak louder than words.
  4. (intransitive) To deliver a message to a group; to deliver a speech.
    This evening I shall speak on the topic of correct English usage.
  5. (transitive) To be able to communicate in a language.
    He speaks Mandarin fluently.
  6. (transitive) To utter.
    • 1611, Authorized King James Version (Bible translation), Jeremiah 9:5:
      And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.
    I was so surprised that I couldn't speak a word.
  7. (transitive) To communicate (some fact or feeling); to bespeak, to indicate.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      There he sat, his very indifference speaking a nature in which there lurked no civilized hypocrisies and bland deceits.
  8. (informal, transitive, sometimes humorous) To understand (as though it were a language).
    Sorry, I don't speak idiot.
    So you can program in C. But do you speak C++?
  9. (intransitive) To produce a sound; to sound.
    • Shakespeare
      Make all our trumpets speak.
  10. (transitive, archaic) To address; to accost; to speak to.
    • Bible, Ecclus. xiii. 6
      [He will] thee in hope; he will speak thee fair.
    • Emerson
      Each village senior paused to scan / And speak the lovely caravan.

SynonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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NounEdit

speak ‎(countable and uncountable, plural speaks)

  1. language, jargon, or terminology used uniquely in a particular environment or group.
    Corporate speak; IT speak.
  2. Speach, conversation.

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

speak ‎(plural speaks)

  1. (dated) a low class bar, a speakeasy.

StatisticsEdit

Most common English words before 1923: free · return · call · #354: speak · land · why · women

AnagramsEdit


ScotsEdit

PronunciationEdit

VerbEdit

speak ‎(third-person singular present speaks, present participle speakin, past spak, past participle spoken)

  1. to speak

Derived termsEdit

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