Pronunciation: (spēch), [key]
1. the faculty or power of speaking; oral communication; ability to express one's thoughts and emotions by speech sounds and gesture: Losing her speech made her feel isolated from humanity.
2. the act of speaking: He expresses himself better in speech than in writing.
3. something that is spoken; an utterance, remark, or declaration: We waited for some speech that would indicate her true feelings.
4. a form of communication in spoken language, made by a speaker before an audience for a given purpose: a fiery speech.
5. any single utterance of an actor in the course of a play, motion picture, etc.
6. the form of utterance characteristic of a particular people or region; a language or dialect.
7. manner of speaking, as of a person: Your slovenly speech is holding back your career.
8. a field of study devoted to the theory and practice of oral communication.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.