Definition of speaking in US English:



  • 1The action of conveying information or expressing one's thoughts and feelings in spoken language.

    • ‘Jasmin rolled her eyes and continued speaking.’
    • ‘He shifted his position a bit and continued speaking.’
    • ‘Usually they noticed her presence and ceased speaking.’
    • ‘Mono stopped speaking as he read the note further.’
    • ‘He demonstrated his impressive intellectual aptitude and capacity for clear speaking, along with some real political savvy.’
    • ‘She self consciously tried speaking in a softer tone.’
    • ‘He would look over at me every time I stopped speaking.’
    • ‘The middle-aged man continued speaking before I could answer.’
    • ‘She cleared her throat and tried speaking evenly.’
    • ‘The eldest member of the crew was the one speaking.’
    • ‘Tommy looked at the wall and continued speaking.’
    • ‘Our first time speaking didn't go over all that well.’
    • ‘Sheriff Masters said nothing and continued speaking.’
    • ‘It was very enjoyable speaking with you and I'm looking forward to future discussions.’
    • ‘He collapsed back into his seat but continued speaking.’
    • ‘Chrissy continued speaking, but this time, she didn't stutter.’
    • ‘Jennifer ignored them both and continued speaking.’
    • ‘They were looking through a book and speaking quietly.’
    • ‘He stopped speaking, and the silence was deafening.’
    • ‘she turned to look at him in his eyes and stopped speaking.’
    1. 1.1 The activity of delivering speeches or lectures.
      ‘public speaking’
      • ‘Many people suffer from situational shyness - the thought of public speaking is enough to induce stomach butterflies in even the most socially confident.’
      • ‘One of the pupils has shown a knack for public speaking.’
      • ‘He seemed conspicuously stiff at public speaking.’
      • ‘Isis was a very shy person, with an extreme dislike for public speaking.’
      • ‘How will public speaking affect the practice of law?’
      • ‘It should be noted, this gentleman was a professor of public speaking.’
      • ‘They practice their public speaking in workshops attended by all.’
      • ‘His voice was rich and deep; he was obviously skilled at public speaking.’
      • ‘Public speaking was never my strong point.’
      • ‘I hated public speaking, especially for people I didn't know.’
      • ‘Until 1991, publications, radio broadcasts, and public speaking in many non-Turkish languages were legally prohibited.’
      • ‘Most people equate public speaking with public humiliation.’
      • ‘Cannock Chase Council has a protocol relating to public speaking at Planning Control Committee meetings.…’
      • ‘I do a lot of public speaking on business issues and I was talking to another speaker when he asked what it is I talk about.’
      • ‘Men have a monopoly in public speaking, landowning rights, and religious rituals.’
      • ‘With a degree in business & in public speaking, she was also good with snobby people.’
      • ‘Fear of public speaking is one of the greatest fears human beings have.’
      • ‘Although the physical dangers of public speaking have disappeared these days, the trepidation of that poor message bearer has not.’
      • ‘Why is it that one of our worst fears is public speaking?’
      • ‘If you are not a professional charismatic, public speaking is probably not for you.’


  • 1attributive Used for or engaged in speech.

    ‘you have a clear speaking voice’
    • ‘He straightened out his suit and regained a normal speaking voice.’
    • ‘Ronald Reagan had a great speaking voice.’
    • ‘When you're booked for a speaking engagement, ask the host if news releases are being sent to the media.’
    • ‘His dark and splendid speaking voice was both a boon and a welcome bonus.’
    • ‘She was starting to miss just hearing her mother's nagging and her Dad's firm speaking voice.’
    • ‘On average, men have lower-pitched speaking voices than women.’
    • ‘Lina has a terrible speaking voice.’
    • ‘I'm interested in the speaking voice and its various registers.’
    • ‘He provided the speaking voice for main character Jack Skellington in The Nightmare Before Christmas.’
    • ‘They can go on to receive lucrative speaking engagements, big-time jobs in the private sector, and favorable mentions in the history books.’
    • ‘Carradine had a wonderful mellow speaking voice which he uses to good effect in Bluebeard as well as a very expressive face.’
    • ‘He has a rich speaking voice and a wonderful deep chuckle.’
    • ‘She doesn't run in the park as often as she'd like or say yes to every speaking engagement she's asked to do.’
    • ‘There's deliciously crisp Scottish lilt to her speaking voice, which is sadly lost when she sings.’
    • ‘His voice was slowly lowering itself back to normal speaking voice.’
    • ‘She'd invented a character the public loved - a magic voice, a face from Vogue, and a giggly girl-next-door speaking voice.’
    • ‘I was thinking of people with good speaking voices.’
    • ‘A traditional telephone converts your speaking voice into what's called ‘analog’ data.’
    • ‘The sound of his speaking voice hit Eider like an actual physical shock.’
    • ‘It was about an octave higher than Jake's usual speaking voice.’
    exact, faithful, true to life, authentic, genuine
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    1. 1.1in combination Able to communicate in a specified language.
      ‘an English-speaking guide’
    2. 1.2 Conveying meaning as though in words.
      ‘she gave him a speaking look’
      meaningful, significant, pointed, eloquent, expressive, pregnant, telltale, revealing, suggestive
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    3. 1.3 (of a portrait) so like the subject as to seem to be alive and capable of speech.
      ‘a speaking likeness’
      realistic, true to life, representational, faithful, authentic, exact, precise, detailed, vivid, graphic, natural, naturalistic, convincing, undistorted
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  • on speaking terms

    • 1Slightly acquainted.

    • 2Sufficiently friendly to talk to each other.

      ‘she parted from her mother barely on speaking terms’
      • ‘Some travelling companions return home barely on speaking terms.’
      • ‘A week or so ago you two were barely on speaking terms.’
      • ‘Suffice to say, Hailey wasn't on speaking terms with her mother or her brother.’
      • ‘The date didn't work out but now the two of them are barely on speaking terms.’
      • ‘He knows having her here is dangerous, especially since he and I are barely on speaking terms over her.’
      • ‘I read somewhere some time that you and your mother had not on speaking terms for quite a few years.’
      • ‘The couple wasn't on speaking terms since the argument.’
      • ‘Although Leanne still couldn't forgive her mother, she was on speaking terms again.’
      • ‘At least Tierra and her mother were on speaking terms.’
      • ‘It was her fault we were barely on speaking terms.’
  • — speaking

    • Used to indicate the degree of accuracy intended in a statement or the point of view from which it is made.

      ‘broadly speaking, there are three major models for local-central relations’
  • speaking of

    • Used to introduce a statement or question about a topic recently alluded to.

      ‘speaking of cost, can I afford to buy it?’
      • ‘So speaking of guitars, which one are you bringing to try-outs?’
      • ‘And speaking of teams overstuffed with midfielders - Tottenham Hotspur appear finally to be moving towards closure on the Jermaine Jenas question.’
      • ‘Speaking of riding, I want a word with the Dawn about the horses.’
      • ‘And speaking of Napoléon, his first wife, the Empress Josephine, had a living collection of more than 250 types of roses in her gardens at Malmaison.’
      • ‘Speaking of short, that's exactly what I am.’
      • ‘Well, speaking of which, let's not keep him waiting.’
      • ‘Now, speaking of your first mission, would you like to brief me on the exact details?’
      • ‘And speaking of images, we're not done with customizing this client.’
      • ‘And speaking of invisibles planes, where's Wonder Woman's invisible plane?’
      • ‘So, speaking of Jeff, I take it this means I can tell him he's free to get married now you've found someone else?’
      on the subject of, about, concerning, apropos of, with reference to, speaking of, with regard to, with respect to, regarding, as regards, relating to, respecting, in connection with, as for, re
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