- To utter words or articulate sounds, as human beings; to express thoughts by words; as, the organs may be so obstructed that a man may not be able to speak ."Till at the last spake in this manner." [Chaucer.]" Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." [1 Sam. iii. 9.]
- To express opinions; to say; to talk; to converse."That fluid substance in a few minutes begins to set, as the tradesmen speak." [Boyle.]"An honest man, is able to speak for himself, when a knave is not." [Shak.]"During the century and a half which followed the Conquest, there is, to speak strictly, no English history." [Macaulay.]
- To utter a speech, discourse, or harangue; to adress a public assembly formally."Many of the nobility made themselves popular by speaking in Parliament against those things which were most grateful to his majesty." [Clarendon.]
- To discourse; to make mention; to tell."Lycan speaks of a part of Cæsar's army that came to him from the Leman Lake." [Addison.]
- To give sound; to sound."Make all our trumpets speak." [Shak.]
- To convey sentiments, ideas, or intelligence as if by utterance; as, features that speak of self-will."Thine eye begins to speak." [Shak.]synonyms: To say; tell; talk; converse; discourse; articulate; pronounce; utter.
Etymology: OE. speken, AS. specan sprecan; akin to OF.ries. spreka, D. spreken, OS. spreken, G. sprechen, OHG. sprehhan, and perhaps to Skr. sphūrj to crackle, to thunder. Cf. Spark of fire, Speech