say1 [ seı ] (3rd person singular says [ sez ] ; past tense and past participle said [ sed ] ) verb ***
▸ 1 express something using words
▸ 2 have opinion
▸ 3 mean something
▸ 4 give information/orders
▸ 5 show what someone/something is like
▸ 6 imagine something happening
▸ 7 use something as example
▸ 8 tell someone to do something
▸ 9 repeat words
1. ) intransitive or transitive to express something using words:
Pleased to meet you, he said with a smile.
When's he coming back? He didn't say.
say (that): She said that she liked dancing.
say how/what/who etc.: Did he say who called?
say something to someone: Tell me what he said to you.
say hello/goodbye etc. (to someone): Say hello to Jenny for me!
say sorry (to someone for something): I've already said sorry for hurting his feelings.
say yes/no (to someone/something) (=give/refuse permission): The committee said yes, so we can go ahead.
a horrible/stupid/strange etc. thing to say: What an odd thing to say, Carrie thought.
say something on/about: I want to say something on this subject.
2. ) transitive to think something or have a particular opinion:
I think we should stop now. What do you say?
say (that): He always said you'd be rich and famous one day.
I say we go (=I think we should go) by car: it's quicker than the train.
would say so/not (=think it is likely/unlikely): Will she meet the deadline? I would say so.
a ) if people say something or if something is said, it is the opinion of a lot of people:
they/people say (that): They say laughter is the best medicine.
as they say: Time, as they say, is a great healer.
be said to do something: She is said to have great talent as an artist.
The castle is said to be haunted.
it is said (that): It is said that he was introduced to the king by a wealthy cousin.
3. ) transitive usually progressive to mean something by a statement:
say (that): We are not saying that taxpayers should pay more.
Is she saying she hasn't got any homework?
a ) say something to someone to have a particular meaning for someone:
This music says nothing to me.
4. ) transitive to give information or orders in writing, numbers, pictures, etc.:
My watch says quarter of twelve.
say (that): Her letter says she's arriving at noon.
The rules say that we need a two-thirds majority to win.
say how/when/what etc.: Does it say on the box how many calories there are per biscuit?
5. ) transitive to show indirectly what someone or something is like:
say something about someone/something: Your home says a lot about you.
This incident says something about the way the company is run.
6. ) transitive usually in imperative to imagine what will happen in a particular situation:
Say you get $2,000 for the car you'll still need another thousand.
7. ) transitive to use something as a possible example:
Why don't we have a break until, let's say, 10:45?
8. ) transitive INFORMAL to tell someone to do something:
say to do something: Mom said to do the dishes.
9. ) transitive to repeat the words of something such as a prayer or speech that you have learned previously:
They lit candles and said prayers for the dead.
someone can't say (something) SPOKEN
1. ) a polite way of saying that you do not know something:
We can't say when the train will arrive.
2. ) a polite way of saying that you do not want to give information to someone:
We can't say what's in the report it's highly confidential.
3. ) used for saying that you do not have a particular opinion:
I can't say I blame you for being annoyed.
can't say fairer than that BRITISH INFORMAL
used for saying that an offer is the best that can be expected
go without saying (that)
to be completely obvious or true:
It goes without saying how very sorry I am.
have something to say to someone/about something
to be angry with someone or about something:
Uh-oh, said Jimmy. Mom's going to have something to say to you.
The boss will have something to say about this.
have something/a lot/nothing etc. to say for yourself
to be fairly/very/not at all willing to talk, especially about yourself and your reasons for doing something:
He didn't have a lot to say for himself.
She's always got far too much to say for herself.
having said that SPOKEN
used for adding an opinion that seems to be the opposite of what you have just said, although you think both are true:
It's expensive. Having said that, I must admit that it is very well made.
used for introducing a personal comment when you know that the person you are speaking to may find this offensive:
I think, if I may say so, that this isn't the right idea.
I must say (that) or I have to say (that) SPOKEN
used for emphasizing a statement:
I'm not very impressed, I must say.
I have to say that the standard of play was abysmal.
I wouldn't say no (to something) SPOKEN
used for admitting that you would like something, especially something that has been offered to you:
I wouldn't say no to another piece of cake.
used for expressing agreement or saying yes in a very definite way:
She's very pretty. I'll say!
(just) say the word SPOKEN
used for telling someone that you are ready to do something for them as soon as they ask:
We can go whenever you like. Just say the word.
not to say
used for adding a description that emphasizes the one you have just used:
It would be a foolish, not to say ruinous, step to take at this time.
say it all
used for saying that something shows very clearly what someone's feelings are or what a particular situation is really like:
The look of satisfaction on his face says it all.
say a lot/very little etc. for
to show that someone or something has a lot/very little, etc. of a particular quality:
It says a lot for him that he never gave up.
It doesn't say much for my powers of observation that I had no idea what was going on.
say no more SPOKEN
used for saying that you understand the hidden meaning of something and do not need any more details:
She's invited Carl to her party. Say no more!
say this/that for someone
used for admitting that someone who you do not approve of has a good quality:
I'll say this for her: she's never lied to me.
He's very smart: you have to say that for him.
say something to yourself
to think something:
This is the real thing, he said to himself.
say to yourself (that): I keep saying to myself that I shouldn't do it.
used for asking someone to repeat what they have said, especially when you are surprised by it:
They're going out together now. Say what?
say what you like (about) SPOKEN
used for mentioning a good quality of someone or something not liked or approved of by other people:
Say what you like about him, he knows how to run a business.
say when SPOKEN
used for telling someone to tell you when you have given them enough of something, especially food or drink
say your piece
to say what you really think about something:
Right, I've said my piece, so now you know what I think.
shall I/we say SPOKEN FORMAL
used for making a statement or criticism seem less severe or offensive:
His loyalty to that man is, shall we say, misguided.
that is to say FORMAL
used for explaining something you have just said in a more exact way:
I'll deal with the second point first, that is to say the change needed to the club's rules.
that said SPOKEN
used for adding an opinion that seems to be the opposite of what you have just said, although you think both are true:
The economy is struggling. That said, house prices rose slightly last month.
that's/it's easier said than done
used for telling someone that what they are advising you to do is not easy to achieve
that's not saying much
used for emphasizing that something is not very unusual, surprising, or impressive:
It's better than the old one, but that's not saying much.
that's not to say (that)
used for adding a statement that corrects what you have just said or makes it less definite:
So far, no one's been sacked, but that's not to say it won't happen.
there's no saying what/how/when etc.
used for saying that it is impossible to know what is going to happen:
There's no saying when it'll be ready.
there's something/a lot/not much etc. to be said for something
used for saying that there are some/many/few etc. advantages in doing something:
There's something to be said for his approach to the problem.
though/if I say it myself or though/if I say so myself
used when you do not want to seem too proud of your own ability or achievement:
Although I say it myself, I think I'm rather good at this.
to say the least
used for saying that you could have expressed something in a much stronger way:
I found the flight rather uncomfortable, to say the least.
to say nothing of
used for adding extra information to what you have just said:
Pollution affects the soil, to say nothing of its impact on wildlife.
what do you say I/we do something? SPOKEN
used for making a suggestion:
What do you say we find ourselves an apartment together?
what have you got to say for yourself? SPOKEN
used for asking someone what explanation or excuse they have for their bad behavior
what someone says goes
used for emphasizing that a particular person has the power to decide what happens in a situation:
Around here, what he says goes.
what would someone say to something? SPOKEN
used for asking whether someone would accept a suggestion:
What would you say to a nice long vacation?
when all is said and done MAINLY SPOKEN
when you consider the whole of a situation, and not just one aspect of it:
When all was said and done it was only a game, not real life.
who can say? SPOKEN
used for saying that no one knows the answer to a particular question or what will happen in the future:
Who can say what will happen to the company?
who says? SPOKEN
used for expressing disagreement with a statement, opinion, etc.:
But you won't get the job anyway. Who says I won't?
who's/what's to say (that)? SPOKEN
used for saying that something is not certain because no one knows exactly what has happened or what is going to happen:
Who's to say he wouldn't have said yes if he'd known?
you can say that again SPOKEN
used for expressing strong agreement with what someone has said:
This is so boring! You can say that again!
you don't say SPOKEN
1. ) used for saying that you are surprised by what someone has told you:
He's just won the lottery. You don't say!
2. ) used for saying that you are not surprised by what someone has told you:
He phoned in sick again this morning. You don't say!
you said it SPOKEN
1. ) used for agreeing with what someone has said although you would not have said it yourself, especially when they admit they have done something bad or wrong:
I've made a terrible mess of this. You said it.
2. ) AMERICAN used for agreeing with a suggestion that someone has made:
Why don't we have something to eat first? You said it!
say 2 [ seı ] noun singular or uncount
the right to give your opinion and be involved in a discussion about something:
have a say in something: The council made the decision. We had no say in the matter.
have a say on/over something: Residents are being given a chance to have a say on the future of their town.
a. the final say responsibility for making a decision, although other people can give their opinion first
b. have your say to get the chance to say what you think about something:
I'm speaking now. You can have your say later!
say 3 [ seı ] interjection INFORMAL
1. ) used for expressing surprise:
Say, that's a great idea!
2. ) used for getting someone's attention before you ask a question or make a suggestion or remark:
Say, are you OK?

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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  • say — [sā] vt. SAID, saying; 3d pers. sing., pres. indic., says, said [sez] [ME seien (< orig. 3d pers. sing., pres. indic.), seggen < OE secgan, akin to sagu, a saying, tale (ON saga), Ger sagen, to say < IE base * sekw , to note, see, show,… …   English World dictionary

  • Say — is to communicate orally. It can also refer to: * Say (song), by John Mayer from the film The Bucket List * Say (Ryan Cabrera song), by Ryan Cabrera from the album The Moon Under Water *Say, Niger *Say (software), a Macintosh command line program …   Wikipedia

  • Say — Say, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Said} (s[e^]d), contracted from sayed; p. pr. & vb. n. {Saying}.] [OE. seggen, seyen, siggen, sayen, sayn, AS. secgan; akin to OS. seggian, D. zeggen, LG. seggen, OHG. sag[=e]n, G. sagen, Icel. segja, Sw. s[ a]ga, Dan.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • say — vb Say, utter, tell, state are comparable when they mean to put into words. Say often means merely to articulate or pronounce {say the words after me} {the baby has not yet learned to say mama or daddy } or is used in reporting something voiced… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • say — ► VERB (says; past and past part. said) 1) utter words so as to convey information, an opinion, an instruction, etc. 2) (of a text or symbol) convey information or instructions. 3) (of a clock or watch) indicate (a time). 4) (be said) be asserted …   English terms dictionary

  • Say — bezeichnet folgende Orte: ein Departement in Niger, siehe Say (Departement) eine Stadt in Niger, siehe Say (Niger) Say ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Fazil Say (* 1970), türkischer Pianist und Komponist Jean Baptiste Say (1767–1832),… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Say OK — «Say Ok» Sencillo de Vanessa Hudgens del álbum V Género(s) Bubblegum pop Duración 3:41 (Versión Álbum) Discográfica Hollywood Records …   Wikipedia Español

  • Say — (s[=a]), n. [Aphetic form of assay.] 1. Trial by sample; assay; sample; specimen; smack. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] If those principal works of God . . . be but certain tastes and says, as it were, of that final benefit. Hooker. [1913 Webster] Thy… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Say — Say, n. [From {Say}, v. t.; cf. {Saw} a saying.] A speech; something said; an expression of opinion; a current story; a maxim or proverb. [Archaic or Colloq.] [1913 Webster] He no sooner said out his say, but up rises a cunning snap. L Estrange.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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