Definition of speech in English:



  • 1The expression of or the ability to express thoughts and feelings by articulate sounds.

    ‘he was born deaf and without the power of speech’
    • ‘They will not improve speech or the ability to swallow, prevent falls, or improve fine motor control.’
    • ‘In sensory or receptive aphasia, there is a problem with comprehension, and affected people produce speech that sounds fluent but is actually nonsensical or full of meaningless jargon.’
    • ‘The result is computer-generated speech that sounds more realistic.’
    • ‘In the rapid-fire flow of conversational speech, words are not fully articulated.’
    • ‘This device transmits sound signals directly to the brain, enabling the person to hear certain sounds and speech.’
    • ‘For hearing and understanding, it required neuro-cognitive networks capable of distinguishing the sounds of human speech and decoding them.’
    • ‘The man's voice was weak, an accent coming through as he lost the ability to control his speech.’
    • ‘Artificially generated speech now sounds more human, and has become more intelligible.’
    • ‘I'd long since lost the ability to understand human speech.’
    • ‘According to the dictionary, collocation is the way words combine in a language to produce natural sounding speech and writing.’
    • ‘For most patients, their appearance, comfort, speech and ability to chew and enjoy food are vastly improved.’
    • ‘I'm sure I read somewhere that only 20% of communication is speech.’
    • ‘One of the most compelling is the marked improvement of our ability to understand speech if we can observe the speaker's lips moving.’
    • ‘They acted in perfect harmony with each other, in speech, facial expression and body language.’
    • ‘Even if one is blessed with the senses of touch, smell, speech and hearing, it is sight that gives shape to imagination.’
    • ‘Their research could have implications for discovering how the developing brain processes sound and speech.’
    • ‘His ears twitched at the sound of speech, far away.’
    • ‘Some scientists suggest that it was a refinement in the vocal tract, allowing a greater range of sounds for speech.’
    • ‘His open mouth and engaged expression unmistakably indicate speech.’
    • ‘What they needed, I thought, was some way to communicate without speech.’
    speaking, talking, verbal communication, verbal expression, articulation
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    1. 1.1A person's style of speaking.
      ‘she wouldn't accept his correction of her speech’
      • ‘Jamaicans adapt their speech to the social context of the moment.’
      • ‘The voice contained characteristics similar to his style of speech, particularly his typically slow and drawn out pronunciation.’
      • ‘The mother said, her accent giving her speech a melodious tone.’
      • ‘His accent slurred his speech, and he jumped from register to register as he spoke, as though speaking in sing-song.’
      • ‘His soothing, mannered style of speech and genuine affection for his film kept my attention throughout the duration of the commentary.’
      • ‘I was awed by his articulate speech and ability to charm.’
      • ‘His vocabulary and manner of speech sounded as though it belonged to a British nobleman, but his voice was that of a typical New York male of his age.’
      • ‘The Japanese language includes sharply divergent styles of speech for men and women.’
      • ‘Each has an idiosyncratic style of dress and speech.’
      • ‘The people here are darker and more heavily built and have a different lilt to their speech.’
      • ‘Since the 16th c, the term has been used in English for styles of speech that mark people off from each other, principally by region.’
      • ‘Ivy winced and tried to tone her speech down to that of a layman.’
      • ‘Her speech was also slow and hesitant.’
      • ‘His style of speech owed more to the old-style BBC accent than to either Scotland or Ulster.’
      • ‘The dialog might be poorly written, but it helps distinguish characters simply by the tone or style of their speech.’
      • ‘Linguists such as Robin Lakoff have long recognized the existence of these typically male and female styles of speech.’
      • ‘From specific costuming decisions to styles of speech, each character gives us an impression of how a subset of American culture may have acted or behaved at the time.’
      • ‘Frequently, the tone of their speech is flat and unexpressive.’
      • ‘Television's Mr. Rogers is a good example of this style of speech.’
      • ‘She had an excellent ear for accents and individual styles of speech, but otherwise did not alter her voice drastically.’
      diction, elocution, manner of speaking, articulation, enunciation, pronunciation
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    2. 1.2The language of a nation, region, or group.
      ‘the distinctive rhythms of their speech’
      • ‘Often they alone preserved the colloquial speech, the real language of everyday use.’
  • 2A formal address or discourse delivered to an audience.

    ‘the headmistress made a speech about how much they would miss her’
    • ‘Breaking with tradition, the graduates conducted the ceremony in English and translated speeches into their native language for the audience.’
    • ‘He stepped into the clearing and began to give a speech in another language.’
    • ‘The manner in which he conducted branch meetings or indeed his professionalism in his delivery of addresses and speeches at formal functions would be sadly missed.’
    • ‘Clement delivered the best speeches and he shone in debates.’
    • ‘Once in a while, I will have to make a speech to the nation.’
    • ‘I gave a speech to the nation that was cleared by the intelligence services.’
    • ‘But his tendency towards dull speeches, opaque language and meandering responses to questions almost undid him.’
    • ‘I think the whole region is awaiting the speech of the president.’
    • ‘He loved listening to her when she made long speeches, or delivered lectures.’
    • ‘Formal speeches were delivered at the main gate but were drowned out by a low flying army helicopter.’
    • ‘There had been speeches, entertainers, music and dancing.’
    • ‘At 81, he can get the full attention of an audience while delivering a speech or singing a song..’
    • ‘Formal and lengthy speeches accompany the presentation of a whale's tooth.’
    • ‘The VIP guests and the public will then meet in the Atlantic hotel, Enniscrone for formal speeches and refreshments.’
    • ‘Before that, President Bush will deliver two more speeches in his drive to try to regain public confidence about progress in that troubled country.’
    • ‘Delegates then applauded his work and the help he gave our region after his speech.’
    • ‘In August 2001 he addressed the issue in one of the most morally serious speeches ever delivered by a U.S. President.’
    • ‘In effect he has been giving daytime speeches with tiny audiences.’
    • ‘Former president, now private citizen, Bill Clinton, giving his farewell speech to the nation Thursday night.’
    • ‘Finally finishing her speech she uttered a few last words.’
    talk, address, lecture, discourse, oration, disquisition, peroration, declamation, deliverance, presentation
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    1. 2.1A sequence of lines written for one character in a play.
      • ‘Other cassettes sport Agatha Christie tales and one cassette in particular is all about the great speeches by famous characters in various Shakespearean plays.’
      • ‘And then in the middle of my long speech I forgot my lines.’
      words, role, part, script, dialogue
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Old English sprǣc, sprēc, later spēc: related to Dutch spraak, German Sprache, also to speak.