so speak

speak

[speek]
verb (used without object), spoke or (Archaic) spake; spoken or (Archaic) spoke; speaking.
1.
to utter words or articulate sounds with the ordinary voice; talk: He was too ill to speak.
2.
to communicate vocally; mention: to speak to a person of various matters.
3.
to converse: She spoke with him for an hour.
4.
to deliver an address, discourse, etc.: to speak at a meeting.
5.
to make a statement in written or printed words.
6.
to communicate, signify, or disclose by any means; convey significance.
7.
Phonetics. to produce sounds or audible sequences of individual or concatenated sounds of a language, especially through phonation, amplification, and resonance, and through any of a variety of articulatory processes.
8.
(of a computer) to express data or other information audibly by means of an audio response unit.
9.
to emit a sound, as a musical instrument; make a noise or report.
10.
Chiefly British. (of dogs) to bark when ordered.
11.
Fox Hunting. (of a hound or pack) to bay on finding a scent.
verb (used with object), spoke or (Archaic) spake; spoken or (Archaic) spoke; speaking.
12.
to utter vocally and articulately: to speak words of praise.
13.
to express or make known with the voice: to speak the truth.
14.
to declare in writing or printing, or by any means of communication.
15.
to make known, indicate, or reveal.
16.
to use, or be able to use, in oral utterance, as a language: to speak French.
17.
(of a computer) to express or make known (data, prompts, etc.) by means of an audio response unit.
18.
Nautical. to communicate with (a passing vessel) at sea, as by voice or signal: We spoke a whaler on the fourth day at sea.
19.
Archaic. to speak to or with.
Verb phrases
20.
speak for,
a.
to intercede for or recommend; speak in behalf of.
b.
to express or articulate the views of; represent.
c.
to choose or prefer; have reserved for oneself: This item is already spoken for.
21.
speak out, to express one's opinion openly and unreservedly: He was not afraid to speak out when it was something he believed in strongly.
Idioms
22.
so to speak, to use a manner of speaking; figuratively speaking: We still don't have our heads above water, so to speak.
23.
speak by the book, to say with great authority or precision: I can't speak by the book, but I know this is wrong.
24.
speak well for, to be an indication or reflection of (something commendable); testify admirably to: Her manners speak well for her upbringing.
25.
to speak of, worth mentioning: The country has no mineral resources to speak of.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English speken, Old English specan, variant of sprecan; cognate with German sprechen (Old High German sprehhan; compare variant spehhan)

speakable, adjective
speakableness, noun
speakably, adverb


1. Speak, converse, talk mean to make vocal sounds, usually for purposes of communication. To speak often implies conveying information and may apply to anything from an informal remark to a scholarly presentation to a formal address: to speak sharply; to speak before Congress. To converse is to exchange ideas with someone by speaking: to converse with a friend. To talk is a close synonym for to speak but usually refers to less formal situations: to talk about the weather; to talk with a friend. 12. pronounce, articulate. 13. say. 15. disclose.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
speak (spiːk)
 
vb (foll by for) , speaks, speaking, spoke, spoken
1.  to make (verbal utterances); utter (words)
2.  to communicate or express (something) in or as if in words: I speak the truth
3.  (intr) to deliver a speech, discourse, etc
4.  (tr) to know how to talk in (a language or dialect): he does not speak German
5.  (intr) to make a characteristic sound: the clock spoke
6.  (intr) (of dogs, esp hounds used in hunting) to give tongue; bark
7.  (tr) nautical to hail and converse or communicate with (another vessel) at sea
8.  (intr) (of a musical instrument) to produce a sound
9.  to be a representative or advocate (of): he speaks for all the members
10.  on speaking terms on good terms; friendly
11.  so to speak in a manner of speaking; as it were
12.  speak one's mind to express one's opinions frankly and plainly
13.  to speak of of a significant or worthwhile nature: we have had no support to speak of
 
[Old English specan; related to Old High German spehhan, Middle High German spechten to gossip, Middle Dutch speken; see speech]
 
'speakable
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

speak
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, report"), cognate with L. spargere "to strew" (speech as a "scattering"
of words; see sparse). The -r- began to drop out in Late West Saxon and was gone by mid-12c., perhaps from infl. of Dan. spage "crackle," in a slang sense of "speak" (cf. crack in slang senses having to do with speech, e.g. wisecrack, cracker, all it's cracked up to be). Rare variant forms without -r- also are found in M.Du. (speken) and O.H.G. (spehhan). Not the primary word for "to speak" in O.E. ("Beowulf" prefers maþelian, from mæþel "assembly, council," from root of metan "to meet;" cf. Gk. agoreuo "to speak," originally "speak in the assembly," from agora "assembly").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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"To a traveler from the Old World, Canada East may appear like a new country, and its inhabitants like colonists, but to me, coming from New England and being a very green traveler withal,... it appeared as old as Normandy itself, and realized much that I had heard of Europe and the Middle Ages. Even the names of humble Canadian villages affected me as if they had been those of the renowned cities of antiquity. To be told by a habitan, when I asked the name of a village in sight, that it is St. Féreol or St. Anne, the Guardian Angel or the Holy Joseph's; or of a mountain, that it was Bélange or St. Hyacinthe! As soon as you leave the States, these saintly names begin ... and thenceforward, the names of mountains, and streams, and villages reel, if I may so speak, with the intoxication of poetry,—Chambly, Longueuil, Pointe aux Trembles, Bartholomy, etc., etc.; as if it needed only a little foreign accent, a few more liquids and vowels perchance in the language, to make us locate our ideals at once. I began to dream of Provence and the Troubadours, and of places and things which have no existence on the earth. They veiled the Indian and the primitive forest, and the woods towards Hudson's Bay were only as the forests of Germany. I could not at once bring myself to believe that the inhabitants who pronounced daily those beautiful and, to me, significant names lead as prosaic lives as we of New England. In short, the Canada which I saw was not merely a place for railroads to terminate in and for criminals to run to."
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