speak for

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Related to speak for: speak for itself

speak for (one)

1. To say something on behalf of one; to express one's opinions for them. I can't speak for Dave, but I know that I'm very uncomfortable with this arrangement. I would just like to make clear that this former employee does not speak for me or the company as a whole.
2. To testify, argue, or give a recommendation in support of one. Melissa's a fantastic worker. I can't speak for the other interns, though, as I haven't spent any time working with them. I don't need anyone to speak for me—I can stand up for myself.
See also: for, speak

speak for (oneself)

1. To express one's opinion as one's own, and not represent it as being indicative of anyone else's. Used as an imperative when there is disagreement. A: "We just love traveling." B: "Speak for yourself—I think it's exhausting."
2. To express one's own opinion or point of view, especially in contrast to those of others. She needs to speak for herself—I'm not a mind-reader! Speaking for myself, I haven't noticed any of the problems that David is bringing up.
See also: for, speak
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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.
See also: for, speak

speak for

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.
See also: for, speak
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

speak for

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]
See also: for, speak
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

speak for

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.
See also: for, speak
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
In May, more than 100 Christian leaders issued the "Cry for Renewal," a powerful statement challenging the values of the religious right and its claim to speak for all people of faith.
And yet, notice that this unnamed mulatto does not speak for herself; it is another (white) woman who feels compelled to describe this black woman's bodily pain.
And when she does, she realizes that she must not look to higher powers for aid but must speak for and of herself.
It was then that the Bible story began to speak for itself.
All efforts at grasping for the right word or phrase are removed as I allow the Holy Spirit to speak for me.