Meaning of SAY in English

I. (|)sā, South also (|)se verb

( past said (|)sed, _sə̇d ; or archaic said·est ˈsedə̇st ; or saidst ˈsedzt, -edst, -etst ; past part said present part saying ˈsāiŋ ; present first singular say or chiefly dialect says (|)sez, _sə̇z ; second singular say third singular says (|)sez, _sə̇z ; or archaic saith (|)seth, ˈsā(ə̇)th ; plural say )

Etymology: Middle English sayen, seyen, seggen, from Old English secgan; akin to Old High German sagēn to say, Old Norse segja to say, Old Irish insce speech, Old Latin insece tell, relate, 2d person singular present imperative, Greek enepein, ennepein to tell, speak, Lithuanian sakyti to say

transitive verb


a. : to express in words : declare , state

say what you mean in clear, simple language

he says that it's raining outside

the book says nothing about the background of these events

it says drive carefully

b. : to state as a common opinion or belief : allege

the school is said to be the country's largest endowed trade school — American Guide Series: Minnesota

wages are said to be as high in the other colonies as in New York — Adam Smith

c. : to announce as a decision or opinion : state positively : assert

nobody can say at this point what the results of the test will be

he's a good ballplayer if he says it himself

d. : to state as something to be accomplished : order

if the human beings under his direction don't do what he says, then he is a failure as a manager — J.I.Miller

no sooner said than done

e. slang : to state effectively or forcefully

you said ˈsed it


a. : utter , pronounce

a meek little person who couldn't say boo

can't say two words without stopping to think

make one copy of the list, saying each outline to yourself as you write — C.I.Blanchard & C.E.Zoubek

— often used to introduce a direct quotation

b. : recite , repeat

I stood up to say my repetition — Rex Ingamells

said his prayers


a. : indicate , show

the clock says five minutes after twelve

the smug look on his face said that he was confident of success

b. : to give expression to : communicate

wanted to produce sculpture which really said something — Agnes Allen

the artist with something new to say — Selden Rodman

4. dialect England : to answer especially with advice or admonition

5. : assume , suppose

let us say that such an offer is made. Would you accept it

intransitive verb

1. : to express oneself : speak , declare

did he really say so

a man, they say , of great ability

2. archaic : to finish speaking

when I have said, make answer to us both — Shakespeare

3. archaic : to make a recital

- not to say

- say for oneself

- say nothing of

- say uncle

- that is to say

II. ˈsā, South also ˈse noun

( plural says ˈsāz, South also ˈsez)

1. archaic : something that is said : saying , statement

ere the fatal hour I said the say that placed me in thy power — W.S.Gilbert


a. : a full expression of opinion : all that one wants to say

that gentleman had said his say and now chose to be silent — Max Peacock

b. : an opportunity to express one's views or intentions

feel that if such a person is dissatisfied with the conduct of affairs he should resign before having his say — Zechariah Chafee


a. : a right or power to influence action or decision : voice

had no say in the upbringing of his son — W.C.DeVane

bound-up babies voice complaints but have no say about their clothing — Better Homes & Gardens

b. : a right or power of final decision : supreme authority — used with the

they will have the say shortly about what shall be done — E.S.Martin

he had the say over more than $50 billion — Newsweek

4. chiefly dialect : conversation , talk

III. adverb

Etymology: from imperative of say (I)

1. : about , approximately

the property is worth, say , four million dollars

the car was going, say , sixty miles an hour

2. : for instance : by way of example : as

if we compress any gas, say oxygen

IV. ˈsā noun

( plural says ˈsāz)

Etymology: Middle English say, saie, from Old French saie, a cloth, from (assumed) Vulgar Latin sagia, from Latin sagum — more at sagum

1. : a fine woolen cloth resembling serge formerly worn especially by Quakers and members of religious orders

2. obsolete : silk

V. verb

Etymology: Middle English sayen, short for assayen to assay — more at assay

chiefly dialect : assay

VI. noun

Etymology: Middle English (Scots dialect), of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse sār large vessel, Danish saa tub, Swedish så bucket; akin to Old English sā tub, bucket

chiefly Scotland : bucket

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.