Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Financial.
Related to speak for: speak for itself
oneself to speak on one's own behalf. I can speak for myself. I don't need you to speak for me. speak for yourself. What you say does not represent my thinking.
speak for someone or something
1. to testify or argue for someone or something. I would be happy to speak for you in court. Just tell me when. My attorney will speak for our position.
2. to lay claim to someone or something. Fred is spoken for. I want to speak for the red one.
speak for somebody/something
to express the opinions or wishes of someone I can't speak for my boss on something that is so personal. Tokarczyk believed that her poetry could speak for the nation.
speak for yourself
to say what you really believe or think is true She should tell us what happened – I mean, she's an adult, she can speak for herself.
Usage notes: sometimes used to say you do not agree with what someone else has said: “Without makeup a woman cannot be pretty.” “Speak for yourself. I think she's beautiful with no makeup at all.”
1. Intercede for, recommend, as in He spoke for the young applicant, commending her honesty. [c. 1300]
2. Express the views of, as in I can't speak for my husband but I'd love to accept, or I don't care what Harry thinks-Speak for yourself, Joe. [c. 1300]
3. speak for itself. Be significant or self-evident, as in They haven't called us in months, and that speaks for itself. [Second half of 1700s]
4. spoken for. Ordered, engaged, or reserved, as in This lot of rugs is already spoken for, or Is this dance spoken for? This usage comes from the older verb, bespeak, meaning "to order." [Late 1600s]
1. To act as spokesperson for someone or something: I speak for the entire staff when I say thank you. I think these photographs will speak for themselves. Hey, speak for yourself—I'm not too old to dance! I can't speak for my competitors, but we take every precaution to ensure the customer's safety.
2. To make a reservation or request for someone or something. Chiefly used in the passive: Is this dance spoken for? That painting is already spoken for.