Meaning of SPEECH in English

I. ˈspēch noun

( -es )

Etymology: Middle English speche, from Old English spǣc, spēc, sprǣc, sprēc; akin to Old High German sprāhha speech, Old English sprecan, specan to speak — more at speak


a. : the act of speaking : communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words

speech is a means of producing in our hearers the images which are in us — Bertrand Russell

b. : interchange of spoken words : conversation , talk

wayfarers, after a first greeting, frequently plod on for miles without speech — Thomas Hardy

wanted to have speech with him and could not — Arnold Bennett

c. : the sounding or speaking of a musical instrument

d. : a form or method of expression or communication

so profound and poignant is his musical speech that there is no other eloquence like it — A.T.Davison

if another ship ever broke into speech with flags or lamp, most ships' officers of that time panicked — Gavin Douglas


a. : something that is spoken : an uttered word : statement

this was nearer a complaint than any speech she had ever heard from him — Ellen Glasgow

b. : a usually formal discourse delivered before or to an audience

will make a speech to the nation on television

the queen read her speech from the throne

an impromptu speech

c. : a line or group of lines spoken at one time by a character in a play

one of the most moving speeches in the play

a dramatist with a fondness for writing long speeches


a. : a form of spoken communication or expression developed by a particular group of people (as of a nation, region, or class) : a language, dialect, or idiom

had to begin by studying their speech and creating a written language — American Guide Series: Minnesota

wrote several treatises in his native speech — William Grant

Midland speech

b. : a manner, style, or pattern of speaking characteristic of a particular individual : a distinctive phonetic quality

his speech is slipshod and unclear

his speech is a peculiar blend of New England and the South


a. : the faculty of uttering articulate sounds or words : the faculty of expressing thoughts by words or articulate sounds : the power of speaking

we stood for some moments, silent and trembling … at length I found my speech — W.H.Hudson †1922

b. : the art or technique of clear and effective speaking : elocution , public speaking

speech is one of the oldest subjects of study in organized instruction — F.H.Knower

5. archaic : common report : mention , talk

what was the speech among the Londoners concerning the French journey — Shakespeare

Synonyms: see language

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

intransitive verb

: to make a speech

transitive verb

: to speak or make a speech to

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