Meaning of SPEECH in English

/ spiːtʃ; NAmE / noun


[ C ] speech (on / about sth) a formal talk that a person gives to an audience :

to give / make / deliver a speech on human rights

He made the announcement in a speech on television.

Several people made speeches at the wedding.


[ U ] the ability to speak :

I seemed to have lost the power of speech .

a speech defect

freedom of speech (= the right to say openly what you think)


[ U ] the way in which a particular person speaks :

Her speech was slurred—she was clearly drunk.


[ U ] the language used when speaking :

This expression is used mainly in speech, not in writing.

speech sounds


[ C ] a group of lines that an actor speaks in a play in the theatre :

She has the longest speech in the play.

—see also figure of speech




lecture ♦ address ♦ talk ♦ sermon

These are all words for a talk given to an audience.


a formal talk given to an audience:

Several people made speeches at the wedding.


a talk given to a group of people to tell them about a particular subject, often as part of a university or college course:

a lecture on the Roman army

a course / series of lectures


a formal speech given to an audience:

a televised presidential address

speech or address?

A speech can be given on a public or private occasion; an address is always public: He gave an address at the wedding.


a fairly informal session in which sb tells a group of people about a subject:

She gave an interesting talk on her visit to China.


a talk on a moral or religious subject, usually given by a religious leader during a service


to give / deliver a(n) speech / lecture / address / talk / sermon

to preach a sermon

to attend / go to a lecture / talk

to write / prepare a(n) speech / lecture / address / talk / sermon

a long / lengthy / brief / short speech / lecture / address / talk / sermon

a keynote speech / lecture / address / talk

a(n) opening / closing speech / lecture / address / talk



Old English sprǣc , sprēc , later spēc , of West Germanic origin: related to Dutch spraak , German Sprache , also to speak .

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.