n. 1 the faculty or act of speaking. 2 a formal public address. 3 a manner of speaking (a man of blunt speech). 4 a remark (after this speech he was silent). 5 the language of a nation, region, group, etc. 6 Mus. the act of sounding in an organ-pipe etc. the Queen's (or King's) Speech a statement including the Government's proposed measures read by the sovereign at the opening of Parliament. speech day Brit. an annual prize-giving day in many schools, usu. marked by speeches etc. speech-reading lip-reading. speech therapist a person who practises speech therapy. speech therapy treatment to improve defective speech. speech-writer a person employed to write speeches for a politician etc. to deliver. speechful adj.
[ OE sprc, later spec f. WG, rel. to SPEAK ]