Definition for SPEAK

SPEAK, v.i. [pret. spoke, (spake, nearly obs.;) pp. spoke, spoken. (Sax. spæcan, specan; It. spiccar le parole, to speak distinctly; spiccare, to shine, that is, to shoot or thrust forth; Eth. ሰበከ sabak, to preach, to teach, to proclaim. The Sw. has spå; Dan. spaer, to foretell. It is easy to see that the root of this word is allied to that of beak, peak, pick.]

  1. To utter words or articulate sounds, as human beings; to express thoughts by words. Children learn to speak at an early age. The organs may be so obstructed that a man may not be able to speak. Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. – 1 Sam. iii.
  2. To utter a speech, discourse, or harangue; to utter thoughts in a public assembly. A man may be well informed on a subject, and yet too diffident to speak in public. Many of the nobility made themselves popular by speaking in parliament against those things which were most grateful to his majesty. – Clarendon.
  3. To talk; to express opinions; to dispute. An honest man, sir, is able to speak for himself, when the knave is not. – Shak.
  4. To discourse; to make mention of. Lucan speaks of a part of Cesar's army that came to him from the Leman lake. – Addison. The Scripture speaks only of those to whom it speaks. – Hammond.
  5. To give sound. Make all your trumpets speak. – Shak. To speak with, to converse with. Let me speak with my son.

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