Pronunciation: (spēk), [key]
—v., spoke or (Archaic) spake; spo•ken or (Archaic) spoke; speak•ing.
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. Phonet.to produce sounds or audible sequences of individual or concatenated sounds of a language, esp. 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 Brit.(of dogs) to bark when ordered.
11. Fox Hunting.(of a hound or pack) to bay on finding a scent.
1. to utter vocally and articulately: to speak words of praise.
2. to express or make known with the voice: to speak the truth.
3. to declare in writing or printing, or by any means of communication.
4. to make known, indicate, or reveal.
5. to use, or be able to use, in oral utterance, as a language: to speak French.
6. (of a computer) to express or make known (data, prompts, etc.) by means of an audio response unit.
7. Naut.to communicate with (a passing vessel) at sea, as by voice or signal: We spoke a whaler on the fourth day at sea.
8. Archaic.to speak to or with.
9. so to speak, to use a manner of speaking; figuratively speaking: We still don't have our heads above water, so to speak.
10. speak by the book, to say with great authority or precision: I can't speak by the book, but I know this is wrong.
11. speak for,
a. to intercede for or recommend; speak in behalf of.
b. to express or articulate the views of; represent.
c. to choose or prefer; have reserved for oneself: This item is already spoken for.
12. 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.
13. speak well for, to be an indication or reflection of (something commendable); testify admirably to: Her manners speak well for her upbringing.
14. to speak of, worth mentioning: The country has no mineral resources to speak of.
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.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.