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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Speak


SPEAK, verb intransitive preterit tense spoke, [spake, nearly, obsolete ] participle passive spoke, spoken. 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 bywords. 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 hearth. I Sam. 3.

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 to diffident to speak in public. Many of the nobility make them selves popular by speaking in parliament against those things which were most grateful to his majesty.

3. To talk; to express opinions; to dispute. An honest man, sir, is able to speak for himself, when the knave is not.

4. To discourse; to make mention of. Lucan speaks of a part of Cesar's army that came to him from the Leman lake. The Scripture speaks only of those to whom it speaks.

5. To give sound. Make all your trumpets speak

TO speak WITH, to converse with. Let me speak with my son.

SPEAK, verb transitive

1. To utter with the mouth; to pronounce; to utter articulately; as human beings. They sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spoke a word to him. Job 2:10. speak the word, and my son shall be healed. Matthew 8:8.

2. To declare; to proclaim; to celebrate. It is my father's music to speak your deeds.

3. To talk or converse in; to utter or pronounce, as in conversation. A man may know how to read and to understand a language which he cannot speak

4. To address; to accost. He will smile upon thee, put thee in hope, and speak thee fair.

5. To exhibit; to make known. Let heav'n's wide circuit speak the Maker's high magnificence.

6. To express silently or by signs. The lady's looks or eyes speak the meaning or wishes of her heart.

7. To communicate; as, to speak peace to the soul.

TO speak A SHIP, to hail and speak to her captain or commander. [Note. We say, to speak a word or syllable, to speak a sentence, an oration, piece, composition, or a dialogue, to speak a man's praise, etc.; but we never say, to speak an argument, a sermon or a story.]