Meaning of SPEECH in English


speech S2 W2 /spiːtʃ/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: adjective : ↑ unspeakable , ↑ speechless , ↑ outspoken , ↑ spoken ≠ ↑ unspoken ; noun : ↑ speaker , ↑ speech ; verb : ↑ speak ; adverb : ↑ unspeakably ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: spræc , spæc ]

1 . [countable] a talk, especially a formal one about a particular subject, given to a group of people

make/give/deliver a speech

Each child had to give a short speech to the rest of the class.

He has to make a lot of after-dinner speeches.

speech on/about

a major speech on relations with China

Collins gave the keynote speech (=most important speech) .

2 . [uncountable] the ability to speak:

Only humans are capable of speech.

3 . [uncountable] spoken language rather than written language:

In speech we use a smaller vocabulary than in writing.

4 . [uncountable] the particular way in which someone speaks:

Bob’s speech was slurred, and he sounded drunk.

5 . [countable] a set of lines that an actor must say in a play:

Hamlet’s longest speech

⇨ ↑ direct speech , ↑ figure of speech , ↑ indirect speech , ↑ part of speech , ↑ reported speech , ⇨ speech bubble at ↑ bubble 1 (4), ⇨ freedom of speech at ↑ freedom (1)

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■ verbs

▪ give/make a speech

She gave a speech at the party conference.

▪ deliver a speech formal

The President delivered a major speech to Congress yesterday.


▪ long

The speeches were all really long.

▪ short/brief

The chairman opened the meeting with a brief speech.

▪ a passionate/impassioned speech (=full of strong feeling)

She made impassioned speeches on civil rights.

▪ an emotional speech (=showing emotions, especially by crying)

On retiring, she delivered an emotional farewell speech.

▪ a moving speech (=making people feel strong emotions)

That was a very moving speech.

▪ a powerful speech (=having a strong effect on people's opinions)

He gave a powerful speech calling for unity.

▪ a rousing/stirring speech (=making people feel excited and eager to do something)

Thousands of people were inspired by his stirring speeches.

▪ a major speech (=very important)

This was her first major speech as party leader.

▪ somebody's inaugural speech (=their first one in an important political job)

He said all the right things in his inaugural speech.

▪ somebody's acceptance speech (=when they accept a political job, a prize, or an award)

In his acceptance speech, he paid tribute to his wife.

▪ a farewell speech (=by someone who is leaving)

▪ an after-dinner speech (=after a formal dinner)

He gets paid a lot for making after-dinner speeches.

▪ a keynote speech (=the most important one at an event)

The Prime Minister will make his keynote speech at the conference today.

▪ a political speech

She began writing political speeches for local politicians.

▪ a campaign speech (=given during a political campaign)

Eisenhower was careful in his campaign speeches to use only the vaguest of phrases.


► Do not say ' do a speech '. Say give a speech or make a speech .

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▪ speech a talk, especially a formal one about a particular subject, given to a group of people:

The bridegroom usually makes a speech after the wedding.


In her speech, she proposed major changes to the welfare system.


the opening speech of the conference

▪ address formal a speech that a very important person gives to a large group of people:

the President's address to the nation


He was surrounded by security officers as he made his address.

▪ talk an occasion when someone speaks to a group of people giving them information about a particular subject or about their experiences:

I went to an interesting talk on the wildlife of Antarctica.


He's been asked to give a talk about his trip to India.

▪ lecture a talk, especially on an ↑ academic subject and given to students in a university:

a lecture on 17th century French literature


Professor Black is giving the lecture.

▪ presentation a talk in which you describe or explain a new product or idea, especially one you give for your company:

I had to give a presentation to the board of directors.


He's making a presentation to the management of a well-known manufacturing company.

▪ sermon a talk given by a priest or a religious leader:

The vicar preached a sermon about the need for forgiveness.

▪ statement a spoken or written announcement that someone makes in public, often to ↑ journalist s :

The minister issued a short statement in which he said he had no plans to resign.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.