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English definition of “speak”

speak

verb (SAY WORDS)    /spiːk/ (spoke, spoken)
A1 [I or T] to say words, to use the voice , or to have a conversation with someone: Would you mind speaking more slowly , please ?mainly UK "Can I speak to Ian please ?"mainly US "Can I speak with Ian please ?" "Speaking." (= This is Ian .) If he tells Julie what I said, I'll never speak to him again.formal She spoke of her sadness over her father's death . She speaks very highly of (= says good things about) the new director . I can certainly come but I can't speak for my wife (= I can't tell you whether she can or not).formal Who is going to speak for (= represent in a court of law ) the accused ? He's old enough to speak for him self (= to say what he thinks ). I went with Ava - speaking of (= on the subject of) Ava, have you seen her new haircut ? We've been invited to Rachel and Jamie's wedding - speaking of which, did you know that they're moving to Ealing? Speaking as (= with my experience as) a mother of four, I can tell you that children are exhausting . Sue speaks with an American accent . Why are you speaking in a whisper (= very quietly )? For five whole minutes , neither of them spoke a word (= they both said nothing).Saying and utteringSaying again broadly, historically, strictly, etc. speaking B2 talking from a particular point of view : Historically speaking, the island is of great interest . Generally speaking, it's quite a good school . Strictly speaking (= if I behave according to the rules ), I should report it to the police .Lecturing and addressing speak to sb to tell someone that they have done something wrong : The manager promised that she would speak to the person responsible .Chastising and rebuking Grammar:Speak or talk?Grammar:Speak and talk: usesThe verbs speak and talk both generally mean ‘say words’, but there are some small differences in how they are used. Speak is more formal than talk.Grammar:Speak and talk with prepositionsWe usually use to after speak and talk. In more formal situations, people sometimes use with:
(Definition of speak verb (SAY WORDS) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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