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.
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)
• • •
▪ 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.
■ ADJECTIVES/NOUN + speech
The speeches were all really long.
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.
■ COMMON ERRORS
► Do not say ' do a speech '. Say give a speech or make a speech .
• • •
▪ 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.