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speak - definition and synonyms

 
 
 
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90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

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verb speak pronunciation in British English /spiːk/
Word Forms
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present tense
I/you/we/theyspeak
he/she/itspeaks
present participlespeaking
past tensespoke
past participlespoken
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  1. 1
    [intransitive] to talk to someone about something
    speak to: I phoned your office and spoke to your assistant.
    speak with: Let me speak with Jennifer and see what she thinks.
    speak of: People spoke of their fear as the flood waters rose.
    speak about: He spoke movingly about his son’s struggle with cancer.
  2. 2
    [intransitive] to use your voice to talk
    There was a long pause before she spoke again.
    He spoke so softly it was difficult to hear what he said.
  3. 3
    [transitive] to be able to talk in a particular language
    Do you speak Chinese?
    He speaks three languages.
  4. 4
    [intransitive] to give a formal speech
    speak at: The local MP will be speaking at our graduation ceremony.
    speak to: Petersen spoke to an audience of 2,000 at the conference.
  5. 5
    [intransitive/transitive] to express your ideas, thoughts, or opinions about something
    speak against/in favour of: Only a small group of people dared to speak against the war.
    speak well/highly of someone (=say good things about someone): Yvonne has spoken so highly of you.
    speak badly/ill of someone (=say bad things about someone): You shouldn’t speak ill of your father.
  6. 6
    [intransitive] to speak to someone on the telephone
    ‘Who’s speaking?’ ‘This is Mark Richards speaking.’
    Synonyms and related words
    1. a.

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