speech


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figure of speech

A form of expression in language, either spoken or written, that employs nonliteral meaning, unusual construction, or a particular combination of sounds to emphasize or heighten the rhetorical effect. Bob: "Does eating an apple a day really keep doctors away from you?" Doug: "Don't take it so literally, Bob, it's just a figure of speech."
See also: figure, of, speech

freedom of speech

The right to express one's opinion without censorship or other forms of punishment imposed by the government. In the United States, freedom of speech is protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. The editor does not want to print my controversial article, but I'm pushing for it to appear in the next issue—what about freedom of speech?
See also: freedom, of, speech

burst into something

to begin to produce a lot of something The children burst into tears when they saw their ruined toys. The car burst into flames. The whole situation was so ridiculous, I simply burst into laughter.
Related vocabulary: break into something
See also: burst

burst into

1. Also, burst out in or into . Break out into sudden activity. For example, burst into flames means "break out in a fire," as in This dry woodpile may well burst into flames. A version of this term, which dates from the 16th century, was used figuratively by John Milton: "Fame is the spur ... But the fair guerdon [reward] when we hope to find, and think to burst out into sudden blaze" ( Lycidas, 1637).
2. Also, burst out. Give sudden utterance to. For example, burst into tears or laughter or song or speech or burst out crying or laughing or singing , etc. mean "begin suddenly to weep, laugh, sing," and so on, as in When she saw him, she burst into tears, or I burst out laughing when I saw their outfits, or When they brought in the cake, we all burst into song. These terms have been so used since the late 1300s.
See also: burst

burst into

v.
1. To enter some place suddenly and forcefully: The police burst into the room and conducted a raid.
2. To start doing something suddenly: Sometimes we burst into song while we're hiking in the mountains.
See also: burst
References in classic literature ?
He was a third-generation specialist in the nature of speech, and he knew that for the transmission of spoken words there must be "a pulsatory action of the electric current which is the exact equivalent of the aerial impulses.
In order to live, he had been compelled to reorganize his classes in "Visible Speech," and to pick up the ravelled ends of his neglected profession.
His roughness frightened her; each roughness of speech was an insult to her ear, each rough phase of his life an insult to her soul.
The ill-fitting clothes, battered hands, and sunburned face remained; but these seemed the prison-bars through which she saw a great soul looking forth, inarticulate and dumb because of those feeble lips that would not give it speech.
     The speech of earth, heaven and ocean.
A flood of tears now gushed from the eyes of Jones, and every faculty of speech and motion seemed to have deserted him.
New paths do I tread, a new speech cometh unto me; tired have I become-- like all creators--of the old tongues.
In some languages, according to some authorities, the distinction of parts of speech does not exist; in many languages it is widely different from that to which we are accustomed in the Indo-European languages.
These words illustrate, incidentally, how little we can trust to the grammatical distinction of parts of speech, since the substantive "rain" and the verb "to rain" denote precisely the same class of meteorological occurrences.
In yon great, muckle house, with all these domestics, upper and under, show yourself as nice, as circumspect, as quick at the conception, and as slow of speech as any.
It restores speech to those that have the dumb palsey.
Alexey Alexandrovitch, ready for his speech, stood compressing his crossed fingers, waiting to see if the crack would not come again.
Already, from the sound of light steps on the stairs, he was aware that she was close, and though he was satisfied with his speech, he felt frightened of the explanation confronting him.
I have heard of that speech," Lady Carey drawled, from her low seat.
That is a very cruel speech, Lucille," the Prince said, with a languishing glance towards her, "for if it had not been for Brott we should never have dared to call you out from your seclusion.