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A revival of Middle English withspeken (to speak against, contradict), from Old English wiþsprecan (to contradict, gainsay, revile), from Proto-West Germanic *wiþisprekan, equivalent to with- +‎ speak. Cognate with Old Frisian withspreka (to disagree), Saterland Frisian wierspreeke (to contradict), Dutch weerspreken (to contradict), German widersprechen (to contradict, gainsay).


withspeak (third-person singular simple present withspeaks, present participle withspeaking, simple past withspoke, past participle withspoken)

  1. (rare, transitive) To speak against; contradict.
    • 1910, Cynewulf, Charles W. Kennedy, Ph.D, The poems of Cynewulf, page 158:
      How may I withspeak the hostile word or find an answer to my foes?
    • 1984, Connie Willis, Blued Moon:
      She pushed six again. “Ulric, I love you," she recited. “Ulric, I love you." Six blinked. The door opened. “Ulric," she said. He was standing in front of the elevator, glaring at her. “Aren't you going to say something?" he said. "Like 'I withspeak myself?' That's a nice example of Germanic compounding. But of course you know that. Language generation is your area of special study, isn't that right, Sally?”
    • 1995 February 24, Step by Step, “>are the memories real??”, in alt.sexual.abuse.recovery[1] (Usenet):
      You withspeak yourself within two sentences.
    • 1996 July 24, LBsys, “John Baez' gravitational rainbow”, in sci.physics[2] (Usenet):
      In the same thread (and others as well) it was stated and AFAIR never withspoken, that light 'climbing out a gravity well' redshifts, thus looses energy, but not speed (and vice versa falling in).
    • 1999, Brett David Wells, The Learned Vernacular:
      Palsgrave says of re, "and as for re is never used alone but in composition as I have afore sayd in the LII chapter of the first boke". Although this remark withspeaks the essence of prepositional morphology outlined in his definition, he curiously counts it as among the "XXIIII prepositions [that] never be founde belongynge to any of the other partes of speche" []
    • 2002, Marek Stachowski, Studia Etymologica Cracoviensia, volumes 7-9, page 40:
      The multiplicity of the second members in these connections withspeaks any thought of pairing of two deities in any one of such names and the identification of the first member with da-ku.
    • 2008, Jacques Pelkmans, Michele Chang, Dominik Hanf, The EU Internal Market in Comparative Perspective[3]:
      This was exemplified by many debates during the 2002/03 Convention on a constitutional Treaty, the numerous misunderstandings and errors in the services discussions in the period 2004 - 2006 and the frequent caricatures of the IM in the French referendum debates in 2005 (and the fact that they were hardly withspoken), to mention only a few harmful instances.
    • 2018, C. M. A. van Ekris, Making See:
      Krusche decides that it is necessary to expose and withspeak this destructiveness in public.