speech

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English speche, from Old English spǣċ, sprǣċ (speech, discourse, language), from Proto-Germanic *sprēkijō, *sprēkō (speech, language), from Proto-Indo-European *spereg-, *spreg- (to make a sound). Cognate with Dutch spraak (speech), German Sprache (language, speech). More at speak.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

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speech (countable and uncountable, plural speeches)

  1. (uncountable) The faculty of uttering articulate sounds or words; the ability to speak or to use vocalizations to communicate.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 12, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      All this was extraordinarily distasteful to Churchill. It was ugly, gross. Never before had he felt such repulsion when the vicar displayed his characteristic bluntness or coarseness of speech. In the present connexion […] such talk had been distressingly out of place.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter XV and XVIII:
      I was at liberty to attend to Wilbert, who I could see desired speech with me. [...] As far as Bobbie and I were concerned, silence reigned, this novel twist in the scenario having wiped speech from our lips, as the expression is, but Phyllis continued vocal. [...] For perhaps a quarter of a minute after he had passed from the scene the aged relative stood struggling for utterance. At the end of this period she found speech. “Of all the damn silly fatheaded things!”
    It was hard to hear the sounds of his speech over the noise.  He had a bad speech impediment.
  2. (countable) A session of speaking; a long oral message given publicly usually by one person.
    • Jonathan Swift
      The constant design of these orators, in all their speeches, was to drive some one particular point.
    • 1960, P. G. Wodehouse, Jeeves in the Offing, chapter I and XII:
      He's going to present the prizes at Market Snodsbury Grammar School. We've been caught short as usual, and somebody has got to make a speech on ideals and the great world outside to those blasted boys, so he fits in nicely. I believe he's a very fine speaker. His only trouble is that he's stymied unless he has his speech with him and can read it. Calls it referring to his notes. [...] “So that's why he's been going about looking like a dead fish. I suppose Roberta broke the engagement?” “In a speech lasting five minutes without a pause for breath.”
    The candidate made some ambitious promises in his campaign speech.
  3. A style of speaking.
    Her speech was soft and lilting.
  4. A dialect or language.
    • Bible, Ezekiel iii. 6
      people of a strange speech
  5. Talk; mention; rumour.
    • Shakespeare
      The duke [] did of me demand / What was the speech among the Londoners / Concerning the French journey.

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Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from English

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

speech m (plural speeches or speechen, diminutive speechje n)

  1. speech

Anagrams[edit]