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English definition of “speak”

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speak

verb  /spik/ ( past tense spoke  /spoʊk/, past participle spoken  /ˈspoʊ·kən/) us  

speak verb (SAY WORDS)

[I/T] to say words, to use the voice, or to have a conversation with someone: [I] I heard someone speaking in the hallway. [I] Please speak louder. [I] "I’ll never speak to you again," he said angrily. [T] No one spoke a word (= No one said anything). [I] She spoke in a whisper (= very quietly). [I/T] Speaking is used with adverbs ending in -ly to show that you are talking from a particular point of view: [I] Generally speaking, this is what happens when you see a nutritionist.

speak verb (KNOW A LANGUAGE)

[T] to talk in a language: How many languages do you speak? He speaks fluent Italian. When I arrived in Canada, I didn’t speak a word of English (= I did not know any English).

speak verb (FORMAL TALK)

[I] to give a formal talk: Will you be speaking at the conference? Ted will speak about careers in education.

speak verb (SUGGEST)

[I/T] to show or express something without using words: [I always + adv/prep] The incident spoke of shady financial dealings between the partners. [T] Her face spoke volumes (= showed clearly what she thought).
(Definition of speak from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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