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Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English spǣċ, a form of sprǣċ, from Proto-West Germanic *sprāku. Some forms are influenced by the verb speken.



speche (plural speches or spechen)

  1. speaking, speech
    • 1297, Robert of Gloucester, Chronicles, 8005:
      Milce nas þer mid him [King William] non...Ac as a tirant tormentor in speche & ek in dede.
  2. dialogue, discussion, conversation
  3. remark, claim
  4. writing, text
  5. meeting, conference
  6. language, tongue
    Synonyms: langage, tonge, thede, leden
    • a. 1400, Geoffrey Chaucer, “Book II”, in Troilus and Criseyde, line 22-28:
      Ȝe knowe ek that in fourme of ſpeche is chaunge / With-inne a thousand ȝeer, and wordes tho /That hadden pris now wonder nyce and ſtraunge /Us thenketh hem, and ȝet thei ſpake hem so / And ſpedde as wel in loue as men now do / Ek forto wynnen loue in ſondry ages / In ſondry londes, ſondry ben vſages []
      You also know that the form of language is in flux; / within a thousand years, words / that had currency; really weird and bizarre / they seem to us now, but they still spoke them / and accomplished as much in love as men do now. / As for winning love across ages and / across nations, there are lots of usages []


  • English: speech
  • Scots: spech, spek