Definition of speech in English:


Line breaks: speech
Pronunciation: /spiːtʃ


1 [mass noun] The expression of or the ability to express thoughts and feelings by articulate sounds: he was born deaf and without the power of speech
More example sentences
  • I'd long since lost the ability to understand human speech.
  • Their research could have implications for discovering how the developing brain processes sound and 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.
speaking, talking, verbal communication, verbal expression, articulation
1.1A person’s style of speaking: she wouldn’t accept his correction of her speech
More example sentences
  • Each has an idiosyncratic style of dress and speech.
  • She had an excellent ear for accents and individual styles of speech, but otherwise did not alter her voice drastically.
  • His soothing, mannered style of speech and genuine affection for his film kept my attention throughout the duration of the commentary.
diction, elocution, manner of speaking, articulation, enunciation, pronunciation;
utterance, words, phraseology, talk
rare orthoepy
2A formal address or discourse delivered to an audience: he gave a speech about the company
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Formal speeches were delivered at the main gate but were drowned out by a low flying army helicopter.
  • At 81, he can get the full attention of an audience while delivering a speech or singing a song..
harangue, diatribe, tirade, rant;
monologue, soliloquy, recitation;
North American salutatory
informal spiel
2.1A sequence of lines written for one character in a play: Antony’s speech over Caesar’s body
More example sentences
  • 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.


Old English sprǣc, sprēc, later spēc, of West Germanic origin: related to Dutch spraak, German Sprache, also to speak.

Definition of speech in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day oleaginous
Pronunciation: ˌəʊlɪˈadʒɪnəs
rich in, covered with, or producing oil; oily