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speak

[speek] /spik/
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,
  1. to intercede for or recommend; speak in behalf of.
  2. to express or articulate the views of; represent.
  3. 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
900
before 900; Middle English speken, Old English specan, variant of sprecan; cognate with German sprechen (Old High German sprehhan; compare variant spehhan)
Related forms
speakable, adjective
speakableness, noun
speakably, adverb
Synonyms
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.

-speak

1.
a combining form extracted from newspeak, used in the formation of compound words, usually derogatory, that denote the style or vocabulary of a discipline, person, era, etc., as specified by the initial element:
adspeak; artspeak; futurespeak.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for speak
  • The voice you hear when you speak is the combination of sound carried along both paths.
  • Movie speak: the way people talk on the sets of movies.
  • If you try and talk differently, so that the fangs don't rub your lips raw, it changes the whole way you speak.
  • But recognizing a language and being able to speak it-or cry it-are two different things.
  • If you speak multiple languages, you might have multiple personalities.
  • Bonobo's can't physically speak as their vocal cords are different to ours.
  • Shop flea markets and junk stores for pieces that speak to you.
  • He suffered a stroke, and became unable to speak or write.
  • Debates might work better in a smaller group where each student can have their chance to speak.
  • It's technology that lets you speak your mind-literally.
British Dictionary definitions for speak

speak

/spiːk/
verb 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.
(intransitive) to deliver a speech, discourse, etc
4.
(transitive) to know how to talk in (a language or dialect): he does not speak German
5.
(intransitive) to make a characteristic sound: the clock spoke
6.
(intransitive) (of dogs, esp hounds used in hunting) to give tongue; bark
7.
(transitive) (nautical) to hail and converse or communicate with (another vessel) at sea
8.
(intransitive) (of a musical instrument) to produce a sound
9.
(intransitive) foll by for. 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
Derived Forms
speakable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English specan; related to Old High German spehhan, Middle High German spechten to gossip, Middle Dutch speken; see speech

-speak

suffix
1.
(informal) the language or jargon of a specific group, organization, or field: computerspeak
Word Origin
C20: formed on the pattern of newspeak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for speak
v.

Old English specan, variant of sprecan "to speak" (class V strong verb; past tense spræc, past participle sprecen), from Proto-Germanic *sprekanan (cf. Old Saxon sprecan, Old Frisian spreka, Middle Dutch spreken, Old High German sprehhan, German sprechen "to speak," Old Norse spraki "rumor, report"), cognate with Latin 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 influence of Danish 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 Middle Dutch (speken) and Old High German (spehhan).

Not the primary word for "to speak" in Old English (the "Beowulf" author prefers maþelian, from mæþel "assembly, council," from root of metan "to meet;" cf. Greek agoreuo "to speak," originally "speak in the assembly," from agora "assembly").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for speak

speakeasy

noun

A cheap saloon, esp an illegal or after-hours place: It had been a speakeasy once/ All they give you in these speaks is smoke/ one thing that puts a speako over

[1889+; Samuel Hudson, a journalist, says in a 1909 book that he used the term in Philadelphia in 1889 after having heard it used in Pittsburgh by an old Irish woman who sold liquor clandestinely to her neighbors and enjoined them to ''spake asy''; hence related to early 1800s Irish and British dialect spake-aisy or speak softly shop, ''smugglers' den'']


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with speak
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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