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 telephone
1. ) intransitive to talk to someone about something:
speak to: I phoned your office and spoke to your assistant.
speak with: Let me speak with Jennifer and see what she thinks.
speak of: People spoke of their fear as the tornado approached.
speak about: He spoke movingly about his son's struggle with cancer.
a ) to talk about something in a particular way:
Let me speak frankly.
2. ) intransitive to use your voice to talk:
There was a long pause before she spoke again.
He spoke so softly it was difficult to hear what he said.
3. ) transitive to be able to talk in a particular language:
Do you speak Chinese?
He speaks three languages.
4. ) intransitive to give a formal speech:
The governor will be speaking at our graduation.
speak to someone: Petersen spoke to an audience of 2,000 at the conference.
5. ) intransitive or transitive to express your ideas, thoughts, or opinions about something:
Only a small group of people dared to speak against the war.
speak well/highly of someone (=say good things about someone): Yvonne has spoken so highly of you.
speak badly/ill of someone (=say bad things about someone): You shouldn't speak ill of your father.
6. ) intransitive to speak to someone on the telephone:
Who's speaking? This is Mark Richards speaking.
a ) used for telling someone who has called you on the telephone and has asked to talk to you that they are speaking to the right person:
Is Janey there, please? Speaking.
broadly/generally speaking
used for showing that what you are saying is usually true, but not in every instance:
Generally speaking, pet owners are law-abiding citizens.
no.../nothing to speak of
used for saying that something is so unimportant or so small that it is not worth mentioning:
She has two young children but no money to speak of.
not on speaking terms
if two people are not on speaking terms, they are very angry at each other and will not talk to each other
so to speak SPOKEN
1. ) used for showing that you have expressed something in an unusual way:
Members of Congress were back in school today, so to speak.
2. ) used when you have just said something that seems to refer to sex because of a confusion in meaning:
He had trouble keeping it up. So to speak!
speak for itself
if something speaks for itself, it is so clearly good or effective that no additional argument about it is necessary:
His success as a lawyer speaks for itself.
speak for yourself SPOKEN
used for telling someone that your opinion about something is different from theirs:
No one wants pizza again tonight. Speak for yourself! I do!
speak ill of
to say unpleasant things about someone
speaking as someone
used for saying that an opinion you are going to express is a result of who you are, what you do, or your relationship with other people:
Speaking as a mother, I would tell him to give up football.
speaking of SPOKEN
used for introducing something new that you are going to say relating to a subject that someone has just mentioned:
Speaking of money, have we paid our credit card bills yet?
speak your mind
to say honestly what you think, even if it upsets or offends someone
speak out of turn
to say something that you should not say, for example because it is a secret, or because you do not have the authority to say it
speak volumes
to provide a lot of information, especially in an indirect way:
His silence on the issue speaks volumes.
speak well for/of
to show that something is correct or effective:
The lower crime rate speaks well for the police department's new strategy.
`speak for phrasal verb transitive
speak for someone/something to represent the feelings or opinions of another person or group of people:
I know I speak for us all when I say how sorry I am for this mistake.
`speak of phrasal verb transitive LITERARY
speak of something to seem to prove that something exists or something is true:
Her extensive library spoke of her love of reading.
,speak `out phrasal verb intransitive
to state your opinion firmly and publicly about something, especially in order to protest against or defend something:
He had always spoken out in favor of gay rights.
`speak to phrasal verb transitive
speak to someone to talk to someone who has done something wrong in an effort to persuade them to improve their behavior:
speak to someone about something: You really ought to speak to him about coming late to class.
,speak `up phrasal verb intransitive
1. ) to talk louder:
You have to speak up. The people in the back can't hear you.
2. ) to say what you think instead of saying nothing:
If anyone has a better idea, please speak up.
,speak `up for phrasal verb transitive
speak up for someone/something to say something in support of someone or something:
Factory workers have finally spoken up for better working conditions.

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

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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 — 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 of — ˈspeak of [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they speak of he/she/it speaks of present participle speaking of past tense spoke of …   Useful english dictionary

  • 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

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