Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “speech”

See all translations

speech

noun uk   /spiːtʃ/ us  

speech noun (SAY WORDS)

B1 [U] the ability to talk, the activity of talking, or a piece of spoken language: Children usually develop speech in the second year of life. People who suffer a stroke may experience a loss of speech. [U] the way a person talks: His speech was slurred and I thought he was drunk.B1 [U] the language used when talking: Some expressions are used more in speech than in writing. [C] a set of words spoken in a play: Do you know the words to Hamlet's famous speech at the beginning of Act III?
More examples

speech noun (FORMAL TALK)

B2 [C] a formal talk given usually to a large number of people on a special occasion: I had to give/make a speech at my brother's wedding. The Governor of New York delivered a rousing speech to the national convention. He gave the after-dinner speech (= a talk given after a formal evening meal at which a large number of people are present). Did you hear her acceptance speech at the Oscars ceremony?
See also
More examples
(Definition of speech from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of speech?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “speech” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

justice

fairness in the way people are dealt with

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

flower beard noun

January 19, 2015
a beard adorned with flowers And some of said beard-rockers are even turning it up a notch, painting trend on top of trend with what’s come to be known as ‘the flower beard.’

Read More