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v. spoke (spōk), spo·ken (spō′kən), speak·ing, speaks
1. To produce words by means of sounds; talk: Can the baby speak yet?
a. To express thoughts or feelings to convey information in speech or writing: He spoke of his desire to travel. In her poem she speaks about loss.
b. To convey information or ideas in text: Their book speaks about adopting children.
a. To engage in conversation: Can we speak for a few minutes about the assignment?
b. To be friendly or willing to communicate; be on speaking terms: They are no longer speaking.
4. To deliver an address or lecture: The mayor spoke at the rally.
a. To act as spokesperson: I speak for the entire staff.
b. To convey information through another person: The family spoke to the media through their trusted adviser.
a. To convey a message by nonverbal means: Actions speak louder than words.
b. To give an indication or suggestion: His manners spoke of good upbringing.
c. To be appealing: His poetry speaks to one's heart.
7. To make a reservation or request. Used with for: Has anyone spoken for the last piece of pizza?
a. To produce a characteristic sound: The drums spoke.
b. To give off a sound on firing. Used of guns or cannon.
1. To say with the voice; pronounce or utter: She spoke the words with a French accent.
2. To converse in or be able to converse in (a language): speaks German.
3. To express in words; tell: speak the truth.
4. Nautical To hail and communicate with (another vessel) at sea.
5. To convey by nonverbal means: His eyes spoke volumes.
Phrasal Verbs:
speak out
To talk freely and fearlessly, as about a public issue.
speak up
1. To speak loud enough to be audible.
2. To speak without fear or hesitation.
so to speak
Used to call attention to a choice of words, and especially to the metaphoric or expressive nature of a word or phrase: can't see the forest for the trees, so to speak.
speak down to
To speak condescendingly to: She never spoke down to her audience.
spoken for
Reserved or requested: Is that seat spoken for?
to speak of
Worthy of mention: There's nothing new to speak of.

[Middle English speken, from Old English sprecan, specan.]

speak′a·ble adj.
Synonyms: speak, talk, converse1, discourse
These verbs mean to express one's thoughts by uttering words. Speak and talk, often interchangeable, are the most general: "On an occasion of this kind it becomes more than a moral duty to speak one's mind. It becomes a pleasure" (Oscar Wilde)."If you want to talk about human experience, then let's talk about it" (Deborah Eisenberg).
Converse stresses interchange of thoughts and ideas: "With thee conversing I forget all time" (John Milton).
Discourse usually refers to formal, extended speech: "When there was nothing to say, he discoursed on the nature of silence" (Stacy Schiff).
Word History: Because English is a Germanic language, first-year German produces many moments of recognition for English speakers and several puzzles. For example, when we learn the verb sprechen, "to speak," and the noun Sprache, "speech, language," we wonder whether we lost the r or the Germans put one in. Sounds are more often lost than added in language change, and this is the case here. In Old English the verb was sprecan and the noun sprǣc, both with an r as in German (and in the other Germanic languages). The r-less forms began to appear in the south of England and became common in the 11th century; the forms with r disappeared completely by the middle of the 12th. A similar loss of r after a consonant and before a vowel occurred in the Middle English noun prang and its variant pronge, "severe pain, sharp pain." Pronge survives today as prong (of a pitchfork, for example). The plural of prang appears in a poem composed about 1400 as pangus, "sharp stabs of pain," and survives today as pang, "sharp, stabbing pain."
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.speakable - capable of being uttered in words or sentencesspeakable - capable of being uttered in words or sentences
expressible - capable of being expressed; "an expressible emotion"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
The noise was un- speakable. Having stirred this prodigious up- roar, and, apparently, finding it too prodigious, the brigade, after a little time, came marching airily out again with its fine formation in nowise disturbed.
Thee, Serpent, suttlest beast of all the field I knew, but not with human voice endu'd; Redouble then this miracle, and say, How cam'st thou speakable of mute, and how To me so friendly grown above the rest Of brutal kind, that daily are in sight?
teaching as an activity that is related to deep underlying assumptions and beliefs about race, class, gender, disability, and culture and the idea that issues related to culture, equity and race ought to be part of what is speakable and visible in all aspect of the curriculum, (p.
(6) Through Dunbar's fiction, we can understand early black literary realism as a discourse of gender and sexuality that, in the face of racist sexological discourse, explored what was possible, livable, and speakable in terms of gender and sexuality for African Americans during the Jim Crow era.
Certainly there's a kind of airy expansiveness in the dialogues, especially when, a few pages before the end, Nikolai dismisses words for falling short of making the unspoken speakable. "Words fall short, yes," she responds, "but sometimes their shadows can reach the unspeakable." Do words have shadows, he asks, sceptically.
The Columbia University graduate, who launched tech company Speakable in 2016 which promotes social activism, was speaking after featuring in Forbes magazine's 30 under 30 list.
This includes thinking locally, becoming the best, and adopting "speakable" keywords.
They cover the semantic-syntactic structure of Chinese names and the issue of reference, cross-contextual meaning and understanding, the principle of charity and linguistic relativism in relation to Chinese, semantic truth and pluralist approaches in Chinese contexts, the "speakable" and the "unspeakable" in Chinese texts, and language in action through Chinese texts.
Jordan runs her own tech company Speakable, which promotes social activism, while Eve has found success as an actress and will next appear in the blockbuster drama Papillon alongside Charlie Hunnam.
And yet today, the term industrial strategy has once again become speakable. The current Conservative government has published a white paper--a major policy statement--on industrial strategy, and the opposition Labour Party presses it to go further and faster.
Norris replies to both the "stated" and "unstated" objections that Sir Thomas has to the adoption of Fanny Price, attempting to assuage both the speakable and unspeakable concerns surrounding the potential for endogamous marriage between Fanny and one of her relatives.
Pizer (1997) challenged the notion of neutrality and suggested we "might consider personal self-disclosure as speakable among us; as a viable option in a particular clinical moment" (p.