"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[uht-er-uh ns] /ˈʌt ər əns/
an act of uttering; vocal expression.
manner of speaking; power of speaking:
His very utterance was spellbinding.
something uttered; a word or words uttered; a cry, animal's call, or the like.
Linguistics. any speech sequence consisting of one or more words and preceded and followed by silence: it may be coextensive with a sentence.
Obsolete. a public sale of goods.
Origin of utterance1
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; see utter1, -ance


[uht-er-uh ns] /ˈʌt ər əns/
noun, Archaic.
the utmost extremity, especially death.
1350-1400; Middle English < Old French outrance, oultrance, equivalent to oultr(er) to pass beyond (< Latin ultrā beyond) + -ance -ance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for utterance
  • The utterance is, after all, the important part of the act.
  • In no public or private utterance was it ever admitted that the three powers had at any time been grouped along different lines.
  • Three instances in which freedom of utterance is said to have been either denied or imperiled are cited.
  • Particular stress was laid on the importance of the one-term utterance.
  • Scored for piano quartet and soprano, the work is lyrical in its utterance and spare in its rhetoric.
  • Yet the left continues to elevate her every utterance so that they can mock and deride her.
  • There is no lack of spontaneity in her actions or in the utterance of her lines.
  • Hey, every politician blows a word now and then, especially presidents who have every public utterance recorded and transcribed.
  • The result was that the dominant imitative tendencies almost succeeded in stifling in them all original utterance.
  • But if the receivers take it still without utterance, the mind may soon grow a burden to itself, and unprofitable to others.
British Dictionary definitions for utterance


something uttered, such as a statement
the act or power of uttering or the ability to utter
(logic, philosophy) an element of spoken language, esp a sentence Compare inscription (sense 4)


(archaic or literary) the bitter end (esp in the phrase to the utterance)
Word Origin
C13: from Old French oultrance, from oultrer to carry to excess, from Latin ultrā beyond
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 utterance

"that which is uttered," mid-15c., from utter (v.) + -ance.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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