speak to

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speak to

1. Literally, to communicate with someone or a group by speaking. George and I haven't been speaking to one another ever since our argument.
2. To address some topic or issue verbally, as in a speech or interview. The senator spoke to the need for bipartisan support if any meaningful tax reform were going to be possible.
3. To indicate or signal some topic or issue. The amount of respiratory problems present in this city's population speaks to the abysmal air quality here.
See also: speak, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

speak to someone

to talk to someone. I am angry with him and I refuse to speak to him. Were you speaking to me?
See also: speak, to

speak to something

[for something] to address, indicate, or signal something. This event speaks to the need for good communication. Your present state of employment speaks to your need for a better education.
See also: speak, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

speak to

To address some topic: The mayor spoke to the issue of tax increases.
See also: speak, to
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 ?
Further, do we want to say God is more the teller of the tale than I am when I speak to you?
That, however, is not surprising, because Jeremiah and the psalmists speak to God about all of their thoughts and experiences and bring forth both praise and lament.
And yet less than one in five took the time to speak to the right people in the right way to try to exert influence over these decisions.
For instance, the Piraha have no way to say, "When I finish eating, I want to speak to you." The closest corresponding expression best translates as "I finish eating.
Also, when it comes to foreign problems, many Japanese who never seem to speak to each other become partners fast--when the foreigners are out of sight.
For some reason, the system could not interpret the phrase "speak to a human being" well enough to transfer the caller to a live operator.
I felt that the book would be stronger and more authoritative if it included the expertise of a psychologist who could provide a clinical understanding of the costs of shifting; a black woman who could speak to the emotional and cognitive processes that might be occurring when a black woman buys a pair of contact lenses, trading her brown eyes for blue, or when she goes from being a dynamic supervisor on the job to a docile homemaker at night, biting her tongue to make her husband feel empowered and affirmed.
Our students need to be looking in our eyes as we speak to them, and we need to be looking more directly at them when they answer our questions.
* They are encouraged to speak to the teacher and others in the class using the target language.
Among those language choices is the option to invoke (i.e., switch on) Black Speak to clearly and concisely communicate a "truth" regarding the conundrum faced by African-descent peoples simultaneously immersed in the clashing tides of American cultures to another or others conversant in the vernacular form.
Regardless of their title, one day, someone will ask most officers to formally speak to a group.
Though he cannot speak to you with elegant words, he reveals to you the exquisite secret vision of his heart.
Writing letters to the editors of Vegetarian Journal or other magazines, promoting healthy school lunches, tabling for VRG at book and street fairs, and offering to speak to local groups are other options.
Borrowing insights from contemporary speech-act theory leads to the conclusion that the Bible is the instrumentality of the Spirit in that the Spirit appropriates the biblical text so as to speak to us today.
Note: It is ideal to speak to people who all have the same level of knowledge, but this is seldom the case.