Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The faculty or act of speaking.
  • n. The faculty or act of expressing or describing thoughts, feelings, or perceptions by the articulation of words.
  • n. Something spoken; an utterance.
  • n. Vocal communication; conversation.
  • n. A talk or public address: "The best impromptu speeches are the ones written well in advance” ( Ruth Gordon).
  • n. A printed copy of such an address.
  • n. One's habitual manner or style of speaking.
  • n. The language or dialect of a nation or region: American speech.
  • n. The sounding of a musical instrument.
  • n. The study of oral communication, speech sounds, and vocal physiology.
  • n. Archaic Rumor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The faculty of speech; the ability to speak or to use vocalizations to communicate.
  • n. A session of speaking; a long oral message given publicly usually by one person.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The faculty of uttering articulate sounds or words; the faculty of expressing thoughts by words or articulate sounds; the power of speaking.
  • n. he act of speaking; that which is spoken; words, as expressing ideas; language; conversation.
  • n. A particular language, as distinct from others; a tongue; a dialect.
  • n. Talk; mention; common saying.
  • n. formal discourse in public; oration; harangue.
  • n. ny declaration of thoughts.
  • v. To make a speech; to harangue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The faculty of uttering articulate sounds or words, as in human beings and, by imitation, in some birds; capacity for expressing thoughts by words or articulate sounds; the power of speaking, or of uttering words either in the speaking-or the singing-voice.
  • n. The action or exercise of speaking; expression of thoughts or ideas with the speaking-voice; oral utterance or communication; also, an act or exercise of oral expression or communication; talk; conversation; discourse: as, a person's habit of speech; to be chary of speech; their speech was all about themselves.
  • n. The words and grammatical forms in which thought is expressed; language; a language.
  • n. That which is spoken; thoughts as uttered or written; a saying or remark; especially, a more or less formal address or other utterance; an oration; a harangue: as, a cutting speech in conversation; the speeches in a dialogue or a drama; to deliver a speech; a volume of speeches.
  • n. A speaking or talking of something; uttered opinion, intention, etc.; oral or verbal mention; report.
  • n. An occasion of speaking; course of speaking; oral communication; colloquy; conference; parlance: as, to get speech of or with a person.
  • n. Manner of speaking; form or quality of that which is spoken or of spoken sounds; method of utterance, either habitual or occasional: as, his speech betrays his nationality; rapid speech; thick or harsh speech.
  • n. The utterance or sounding of a musical instrument, especially of a pipe in a pipe-organ.
  • n. In a wheel, the hub with the spokes, but without the fellies and tire.
  • n. Synonyms Speech, Address, Harangue, Oration. Speech is generic, and applies to any form of words uttered; it is the thing spoken, without reference to its quality or the manner of speaking it. An address is a speech viewed as spoken to one or more persons, and is generally of the better sort: as, Paul's speech on Mars' Hill; his address before Felix. A harangue is a noisy speech, usually unstudied and unpolished, addressed to a large audience and in a violent manner. An oration is a formal, impressive, studied, and elaborately polished address: as, Webster was selected to deliver the oration when the corner-stone of the Bunker Hill monument was laid, and again when the monument was completed. See sermon and language.
  • To make a speech; harangue.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. words making up the dialogue of a play
  • n. a lengthy rebuke
  • n. (language) communication by word of mouth
  • n. the act of delivering a formal spoken communication to an audience
  • n. your characteristic style or manner of expressing yourself orally
  • n. the exchange of spoken words
  • n. the mental faculty or power of vocal communication
  • n. something spoken

Etymologies

Middle English speche, from Old English sprǣc, spǣc.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English speche, from Old English spǣċ, sprǣċ ("speech, discourse, language"), from Proto-Germanic *sprēkijō (“speech”), from Proto-Indo-European *spereg-, *spreg- (“to make a sound”). Cognate with Dutch spraak ("speech"), German Sprache ("language, speech"), Danish sprog ("language"). More at speak. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • At issue is whether or not the FEC went too far in interpreting the McCain-Feingold Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act when it ruled Hillary: The Movie to be campaign speech, advocacy about a particular candidate, instead of the allowed political speech, advocacy on a topic, thus limiting the \ "freedom of speech\" of corporations.

    Stephen Herrington: Am I Free to Speak?

  • Within speech acts, Austin distinguished among locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary levels, but speech act theory has been devoted almost exclusively to the illocutionary level, so that ˜speech act™ and ˜illocutionary act™ are in practice synonymous terms.

    Pragmatics

  • However, a speech sound localized in the brain, even when associated with the particular movements of the “speech organs” that are required to produce it, is very far from being an element of language.

    Chapter 1. Introductory: Language Defined

  • The very simplest element of speech—and by “speech” we shall henceforth mean the auditory system of speech symbolism, the flow of spoken words—is the individual sound, though, as we shall see later on, the sound is not itself a simple structure but the resultant of a series of independent, yet closely correlated, adjustments in the organs of speech.

    Chapter 2. The Elements of Speech

  • Strait points out that scientists already know that emotion in speech is carried less by the specific meanings of the words being used than by the sound of those words.

    Musicians really ARE more sensitive

  • Children who are taught that certain speech is not allowed, learn that certain speech is not allowed.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Pro-Life Speech “Upsetting” and “Not OK” for the Duke University Women’s Center

  • Tommy's face was white, and he sought refuge in speech from the silence which settled down.

    CHAPTER 24

  • Not because I agreed with it, but because I am deeply concerned that the effort to label certain speech "hate speech" is part of a general campaign to limit first amendment rights.

    Coyote Blog » 2005 » July

  • Although you are honest and fair, a directness in speech is a source of much consternation to you, and you often regret what you say.

    The names I go by

  • Teachers of the deaf often express surprise that Helen's speech is so good when she has not received any regular instruction in speech since the first few lessons given her by Miss Fuller.

    The Story of My Life

Comments

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  • *picturing teacakes* yum, we get dry bagels :(

    August 17, 2011

  • Powerpoint and teacakes.

    August 17, 2011

  • what is the difference between a speech and a presentation?

    August 17, 2011

  • will, want

    July 23, 2009

  • Oops! Sorry all--should be okay now. Thanks for reposting, bilby.

    April 29, 2009

  • John's a slack bastard
    *just repeating the error message*
    *hides under porch*

    April 28, 2009

  • Seems like it should be this site.

    April 28, 2009

  • Speech defect.

    April 28, 2009

  • There's a problem with your link, Rt.

    April 28, 2009

  • Interesting site--although those animated eyes are creepy.

    April 28, 2009