• "'What is it?—a fire? Speak, boy!'"
    "'What is it?—a fire? Speak, boy!'"
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v speak express in speech "She talks a lot of nonsense","This depressed patient does not verbalize"
    • v speak exchange thoughts; talk with "We often talk business","Actions talk louder than words"
    • v speak use language "the baby talks already","the prisoner won't speak","they speak a strange dialect"
    • v speak give a speech to "The chairman addressed the board of trustees"
    • v speak make a characteristic or natural sound "The drums spoke"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"'My master wishes to speak with you.'" "'My master wishes to speak with you.'"
The witch speaks to Ball-Carrier, who is lying on a platform The witch speaks to Ball-Carrier, who is lying on a platform
Grethari speaks to the maiden Grethari speaks to the maiden
The disguised princess speaks to the boy in the myrtle thicket The disguised princess speaks to the boy in the myrtle thicket
The prince reclines, listening, as the princess speaks The prince reclines, listening, as the princess speaks
A wolf speaking with a lamb A wolf speaking with a lamb
Joseph as Ruler of Egypt speaks to his brothers Joseph as Ruler of Egypt speaks to his brothers

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak
    • Speak To address; to accost; to speak to. "He will] thee in hope; he will speak thee fair.""each village senior paused to scan
      And speak the lovely caravan."
    • Speak To convey sentiments, ideas, or intelligence as if by utterance; as, features that speak of self-will. "Thine eye begins to speak ."
    • Speak To declare; to proclaim; to publish; to make known; to exhibit; to express in any way. "It is my father;s muste
      To speak your deeds."
      "Speaking a still good morrow with her eyes.""And for the heaven's wide circuit, let it speak The maker's high magnificence.""Report speaks you a bonny monk."
    • Speak To discourse; to make mention; to tell. "Lycan speaks of a part of Cæsar's army that came to him from the Leman Lake."
    • Speak To express opinions; to say; to talk; to converse. "That fluid substance in a few minutes begins to set, as the tradesmen speak .""An honest man, is able to speak for himself, when a knave is not.""During the century and a half which followed the Conquest, there is, to speak strictly, no English history."
    • Speak To give sound; to sound. "Make all our trumpets speak ."
    • Speak To talk or converse in; to utter or pronounce, as in conversation; as, to speak Latin. "And French she spake full fair and fetisely."
    • Speak 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."
    • Speak To utter in a word or words; to say; to tell; to declare orally; as, to speak the truth; to speak sense.
    • Speak To utter with the mouth; to pronounce; to utter articulately, as human beings. "They sat down with him upn ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him."
    • Speak 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.""Speak , Lord; for thy servant heareth."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: C3P0 is the first character to speak in Star Wars.
    • speak To use articulate utterance in the tones of the speaking-voice, in distinction from those of the singing-voice; exert the faculty of speech in uttering words for the expression of thought.
    • speak To make an oral address, as before a magistrate, a tribunal, a public assembly, or a company; deliver a speech, discourse, argument, plea, or the like: as, to speak for or against a person or a cause in court or in a legislature.
    • speak To make oral communication or mention; talk; converse: as, to speak with a stranger; to speak of or about something; they do not speak to each other.
    • speak To communicate ideas by written or printed words; make mention or tell in recorded speech.
    • speak To make communication by any intelligible sound, action, or indication; impart ideas or information by any means other than speech or writing; give expression or intimation.
    • speak Of an organ-pipe, to emit or utter a tone; sound.
    • speak Nautical, to make a stirring and lapping sound in driving through the water: said of a ship.
    • speak To bark when ordered: said of dogs.
    • speak A person with whom one is only sufficiently acquainted to interchange formal salutations or indifferent conversation when meeting casually.
    • speak To afford an indication of; intimate; denote.
    • speak To take or make account of; mention as notable or of consequence; deserve mention.
    • speak To admonish or rebuke.
    • speak Synonyms Speak, Talk. Speak is more general in meaning than talk. Thus, a man may speak by uttering a single word, whereas to talk is to utter words consecutively; so a man may be able to speak without being able to talk. Speak is also more formal in meaning: as, to speak before an audience; while talk implies a conversational manner of speaking.
    • speak To utter orally and articulately; express with the voice; enunciate.
    • speak To declare; utter; make known by speech; tell, announce, or express in uttered words.
    • speak To use in oral utterance; express one's self in the speech or tongue of: as, a person may read a language which he cannot speak.
    • speak To accost or address in speech; specifically (nautical), to accost at sea; hail and hold communication with by the voice, as a passing vessel.
    • speak To say, either in speech or in writing; use as a form of speech.
    • speak To produce by means or as a result of speech; bring about or into being by utterance; call forth.
    • speak To mention as; speak of as being; call.
    • speak To make known as if by speech; give speaking evidence of; indicate; show to be; declare.
    • speak Synonyms Tell, State, etc. See say.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: You speak about 4,800 words per day.
    • v.i Speak spēk to utter words or articulate sounds: to say: to talk: to converse: to sound: to give expression by any means, to intimate, to hint
    • v.t Speak to pronounce: to converse in: to address: to declare: to express by signs:—pa.t. spoke or spāke; pa.p. spō′ken
    • adj Speak seeming to speak: natural: used to assist the voice
    • ***


  • African Proverb
    African Proverb
    “When deeds speak, words are nothing.”
  • Proverb
    “Children and drunks always speak the truth.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Speak well of your enemies... you made them.”
  • Blaise Pascal
    “Do you wish people to think well of you? Don't speak well of yourself.”
  • Proverb
    “Speak when you are spoken to.”
  • Sophocles
    “It is terrible to speak well and be wrong.”


Actions speak louder than words - This idiom means that what people actually do is more important than what they say- people can promise things but then fail to deliver.
Speak of the devil! - If you are talking about someone and they happen to walk in, you can use this idiom as a way of letting them know you were talking about them.
Speak softly and carry a big stick - If you speak softly and carry a big stick, you make your case quietly but can back it up forcefully if necessary.
Speak to the organ grinder not the monkey - Talk to the boss not the subordinate
Speak volumes - If something speaks volumes, it tells us a lot about the real nature of something or someone,even though it may only be a small detail.
Speak with a forked tongue - To say one thing and mean another, to lie, to be two-faced
Speak your mind - If you speak your mind, you say what you exactly think about a subject regardless of whether others will agree with you or not.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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


In literature:

I wouldn't speak of it even to your aunt Deely, if I were you.
"John Ward, Preacher" by Margaret Deland
He was essentially a truth-speaking man, if only he knew how to speak the truth.
"Phineas Redux" by Anthony Trollope
No one would ever speak to her again, but she did not care.
"Prisoners" by Mary Cholmondeley
But it was not about the prospect of war that Harry Feversham had news to speak.
"The Four Feathers" by A. E. W. Mason
Speak, my dear De Wardes, speak.
"The Vicomte de Bragelonne" by Alexandre Dumas
Victoria did not speak; and suddenly Saidee was angry with her for not speaking.
"The Golden Silence" by C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
But, Alice, I shall never have the power of speaking to you again as I speak now.
"Can You Forgive Her?" by Anthony Trollope
The old man took it, but did not speak.
"The Eternal City" by Hall Caine
Lady Armine, without speaking, knelt down by his bedside and took him in her arms.
"Henrietta Temple A Love Story" by Benjamin Disraeli
Come, I don't speak without reason.
"Simon Dale" by Anthony Hope

In poetry:

Such was our friend we shall not see,
Yet sweet the friendship that has been;
I speak to him—he speaks to me
Across the grave that lies between.
"In Memoriam" by Alexander Anderson
We did not need to speak, we could not speak,
The wonder words that we in silence knew —
We walked, as very little children do,
Who feel, but cannot tell, the thing they seek.
"Wood Magic" by Margaret Elizabeth Sangster
God speaks to each of us before we are,
Before he's formed us — then, in cloudy speech,
But only then, he speaks these words to each
And silently walks with us from the dark:
"God Speaks To Each Of Us" by Rainer Maria Rilke
So give me thy hands and speak me
As once in the days of yore,
When love spoke sweetly to us,
The love that speaks no more;
The sound of thy voice may help him
To speak in our hearts once more.
"A Reed Shaken In The Wind" by Madison Julius Cawein
Oh! from the rock of the hill;
from the top of the mountain of winds,
speak ye ghosts of the dead! speak,
and I will not be afraid.--Whither
are ye gone to rest? In what cave of
the hill shall I find you?
"Fragment X" by James Macpherson
When she do speak to woone, she don't steäre an' grin;
There's sense in her looks, vrom her eyes to her chin,
An' her words be so kind, an' her speech is so meek,
As her eyes do look down a-beginnèn to speak.
"The Maid Vor My Bride" by William Barnes

In news:

As for Obama's record, facts speak for themselves.
They speak on Bloomberg Television's "Market Makers".
OGDEN — Will Calton and Tom Burton, Ogden mountaineers who this year reached the summit of Mount Everest, will speak Wednesday at Weber State University, 3848 Harrison Blvd.
I couldn't speak for all the husbands, but I assume we are being blamed for something the Women's Movements encouraged.
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney reacts to hecklers while speaking at a campaign rally, Wednesday, Sept 26, 2012, in Westerville, Ohio.
Tyson's corner: 'Sexiest' astrophysicist to speak about Pluto.
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann walks on stage to speak at CPAC in Orlando, Florida.
Karzis is the son of Greek immigrants and he speaks Greek.
Genevieve speaks with students after a presentation in the Museo Elder IMAX theatre.
This is Judith Scott speaking to you from the Odyssey in Gran Canaria.
George Yoshitake, 82, speaks about his experiences documenting the explosions and their destructive effects.
Thank you Junior & Tom for speaking up.
Jim Ellis ran through Spencer during the early stages of his "Awake My Sole" running and speaking tour.
For more information visit or to speak to an audiologist visit.
Can you be authentically Latino without speaking Spanish.

In science:

Generally speaking, the spectrum of the final system includes the discrete spectrum as well as the continuous one, i.e.
Dyon-Oscillator Duality
Hence we can speak of a “rational splice diagram of simple type”.
Rational polynomials of simple type
Generally speaking the choice of transversal Q is not unique, although it is known how the structures of loops related to different reductants are connected (Sabinin, 1972).
Smooth Loops, Generalized Coherent States and Geometric Phases
When speaking of all of them, we will call them filtered fundamental processes.
Filtered random variables, bialgebras and convolutions
Hence, strictly speaking, the integral does not exist.
Statistical ensemble of scale-free random graphs