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

ellipsis

a situation in which words are left out of a sentence but the sentence can still be understood

Word of the Day

Euphemisms (Words used to Avoid Offending People)

by Kate Woodford,
March 04, 2015
​​​ We recently looked at the language that we use to describe lies and lying. One area of lying that we considered was ‘being slightly dishonest, or not speaking the complete truth’. One reason for not speaking the complete truth is to avoid saying something that might upset or offend people. Words and

Read More 

snapchat verb

March 02, 2015
to send someone a message using the photomessaging application Snapchat We used to have a thing until he got a girlfriend. now

Read More