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Related to speaking: speaking in tongues, public speaking


a. Capable of speech.
b. Involving speaking or talking: has a speaking part in the play.
2. Expressive or telling; eloquent.
3. True to life; lifelike: a speaking likeness.
on speaking terms
1. Friendly enough to exchange superficial remarks: We're on speaking terms with the new neighbors.
2. Ready and willing to communicate; not alienated or estranged.
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.


1. (prenominal) eloquent, impressive, or striking
a. able to speak
b. (in combination) able to speak a particular language: French-speaking.
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈspi kɪŋ)

1. the act, utterance, or discourse of a person who speaks.
2. speakings, literary works composed for recitation.
3. able to speak.
4. used in, suited to, or involving speaking or talking.
5. giving information as if by speech: speaking proof of a thing.
6. highly expressive: speaking eyes.
7. lifelike: a speaking likeness.
speak′ing•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. [A statement] came out flat as a sheet of onion-skin paper —Cornell Woolrich
  2. Can speak as flashy as water runs —R. Wright Campbell
  3. Cut short his speech, like a pang of pain —Joseph Conrad
  4. The few sentences she uttered were like eternal judgments —Larry McMurtry
  5. Had a habit … of making a narrow remark which, like a plumber’s snake, could work its way through the ear down the artery, half-way to my heart —Grace Paley
  6. He [Peter O’Toole] doesn’t just talk, he offers his words like presents, gift-wrapped —Robert Goldberg, Wall Street Journal, April 21, 1987
  7. He was gathering toward speech, like a man about to rhumba, waiting to feel the beat —Leonard Michaels
  8. His tongue [is] as a devouring fire —The Holy Bible/Isaiah
  9. His rhetoric falls like a freight train over a bridge —David Brinkley about John L. Lewis
  10. His talk was like a stream which runs with rapid changes from rock to roses —Winthrop Mackworth Praed

    To illustrate the simile, the poem in which it appears continues with “It slipped from politics to puns; it passed from Mahomet to Moses.”

  11. If I open my mouth it’s like pebbles rattling together —Albert Camus
  12. Phrases … looping out of her mouth like a backward spaghetti-eating process —Elizabeth Spencer
  13. A remark thrown off like an idle dart —Sylvia Berkman
  14. Said grimly … like a man announcing that X-rated movies had been shown at the deacons’ party —Stephen King
  15. Said it flatly, like a tour guide reading from a Baedeker —Jonathan Valin
  16. Sentences came … fluently enough, even though they did sound rather like quotations from a phrase book —Christopher Isherwood
  17. Sharpened their tongues like a serpent —The Holy Bible/Psalms
  18. [Words] slipped out of me in a spasm of candor, like a sneeze —Paul Reidinger
  19. Some men are like bagpipes, they can’t speak till their belly’s filled —Seumas MacManus
  20. Speaking without thinking is like shooting without aiming —English proverb
  21. Speak pleasantly … like a stewardess in an airliner with only one wing and two engines, one of which is on fire —Douglas Adams
  22. Spoke to them mildly as mid-May weather —Stephen Vincent Benét
  23. Talked like birds, with a gentle malice —Dame Edith Sitwell
  24. Talked like her eyes looked, like her eyes watching us and her voice talking to us did not belong to her. Like she was living somewhere else, waiting somewhere else —William Faulkner
  25. Talking is like playing on the harp; there is as much in laying the hands on the strings to stop their vibrations as in twanging them to bring out the music —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  26. Talks like his tongue is in a cramp … like he has adenoids as big as footballs … and muscles to match —John Wainwright
  27. Tough talk … like whistling in a haunted house —John Wainwright
  28. Voice stopped, like words written off the edge of a page —Elizabeth Spencer
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.speaking - the utterance of intelligible speechspeaking - the utterance of intelligible speech
utterance, vocalization - the use of uttered sounds for auditory communication
speech - the exchange of spoken words; "they were perfectly comfortable together without speech"
whisper, whispering, susurration, voicelessness - speaking softly without vibration of the vocal cords
2.speaking - delivering an address to a public audiencespeaking - delivering an address to a public audience; "people came to see the candidates and hear the speechmaking"
recitation, recital, reading - a public instance of reciting or repeating (from memory) something prepared in advance; "the program included songs and recitations of well-loved poems"
speech, address - the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience; "he listened to an address on minor Roman poets"
disputation, public debate, debate - the formal presentation of a stated proposition and the opposition to it (usually followed by a vote)
Adj.1.speaking - capable of or involving speech or speaking; "human beings--the speaking animals"; "a speaking part in the play"
nonspeaking, walk-on - not capable of or especially not involving speech or spoken lines; "had a nonspeaking role in the play"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
كَلامي، مُسْتَعْمَل في الكَلامكَلامي، يَشْمَل الكَلام
áheyrilegur talandi/málrómurtalandi; tal-
konuşmakonuşma için


1. (= talking) [doll, computer] → que habla, parlante
2. (= eloquent, striking) speaking likenessvivo retrato m
B. N (= skill) → oratoria f
C. CPD speaking clock Nservicio f telefónico de información horaria
speaking distance N to be within speaking distanceestar al alcance de la voz
speaking part Npapel m hablado
speaking terms NPL to be on speaking terms with sbhablarse con algn
we're not on speaking termsno nos hablamos
speaking trumpet Nbocina f
speaking tube Ntubo m acústico
speaking voice N a pleasant speaking voiceuna voz agradable
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈspiːkɪŋ] adj [doll, machine] → parlant(e)speaking clock n (British) the speaking clock → l'horloge f parlantespeaking part speaking role nrôle m parléspeaking terms npl
to be barely on speaking terms → s'adresser à peine la parole, se parler à peine
not to be on speaking terms [people who have quarrelled] → ne plus s'adresser la parole, ne plus se parler
to be on speaking terms again → s'addresser à nouveau la parole, se parler à nouveau
They're on speaking terms again → Ils s'adressent à nouveau la parole., Ils se parlent à nouveau.speaking voice nvoix f parlée
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


n (= act of speaking)Sprechen nt; (= speeches)Reden pl; the art of speakingdie Redekunst
adj attr dollsprechend, Mama- (inf); (fig) likenessverblüffend; to be within speaking distancenahe genug sein, dass man sich verständigen kann; I have a speaking engagement later todayich muss heute noch eine Rede halten


speaking clock
n (Brit) → telefonische Zeitansage
speaking part, speaking role
n (Film, Theat) → Sprechrolle f
speaking terms
pl to be on speaking with somebodymit jdm sprechen or reden
speaking trumpet
n (old)Hörrohr nt
speaking tube
nSprachrohr nt
speaking voice
nSprechstimme f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


1. adjparlante
Italian-speaking people → persone che parlano italiano
I am not on speaking terms with her → la conosco solo di vista
they are not on speaking terms (after quarrel) → non si rivolgono la parola
2. n (skill) → arte f del parlare
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(spiːk) past tense spoke (spouk) : past participle ˈspoken (ˈspoukən) verb
1. to say (words) or talk. He can't speak; He spoke a few words to us.
2. (often with to or (American) with) to talk or converse. Can I speak to/with you for a moment?; We spoke for hours about it.
3. to (be able to) talk in (a language). She speaks Russian.
4. to tell or make known (one's thoughts, the truth etc). I always speak my mind.
5. to make a speech, address an audience. The Prime Minister spoke on unemployment.
ˈspeaker noun
1. a person who is or was speaking.
2. (sometimes ˌloudˈspeaker) the device in a radio, record-player etc which converts the electrical impulses into audible sounds. Our record-player needs a new speaker.
ˈspeaking adjective
1. involving speech. a speaking part in a play.
2. used in speech. a pleasant speaking voice.
ˈspoken adjective
produced by speaking. the spoken word.
speaking in a particular way. plain-spoken; smooth-spoken.
generally speaking
in general. Generally speaking, men are stronger than women.
speak for itself/themselves
to have an obvious meaning; not to need explaining. The facts speak for themselves.
speak out
to say boldly what one thinks. I feel the time has come to speak out.
speak up
to speak (more) loudly. Speak up! We can't hear you!
to speak of
worth mentioning. He has no talent to speak of.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.
References in classic literature ?
"Don't spoil my pleasure in seeing you again by speaking of what can never be!
I have often been asked how I began the practice of public speaking. In answer I would say that I never planned to give any large part of my life to speaking in public.
To see the man, whose introduction to Emily it had been Miss Jethro's mysterious object to prevent--at the very moment when he had been speaking of Miss Jethro herself--was, not only a temptation of curiosity, but a direct incentive (in Emily's own interests) to make an effort at discovery.
Franklin, speaking in a loud voice, so that Rosanna might hear him.
As they were speaking, Nestor knight of Gerene shook the helmet, and from it there fell the very lot which they wanted--the lot of Ajax.
A middle-aged man, handsome and virile, in the uniform of a retired naval officer, was speaking in one of the rooms, and a small crowd was pressing round him.
In a short time Elinor saw Willoughby quit the room by the door towards the staircase, and telling Marianne that he was gone, urged the impossibility of speaking to him again that evening, as a fresh argument for her to be calm.
For a moment or two nothing was said, and she was unsuspicious of having excited any particular interest, till she found her arm drawn within his, and pressed against his heart, and heard him thus saying, in a tone of great sensibility, speaking low,
It has done good -- it has saved you the distress of speaking to us .
He complied as to the chair, but appeared to find the speaking on less easy.
He that questioneth much, shall learn much, and content much; but especially, if he apply his questions to the skill of the persons whom he asketh; for he shall give them occasion, to please themselves in speaking, and himself shall continually gather knowledge.
I heard the voice of the Tempter speaking to me: Launch it, and leave him to die!