spoken


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Related to spoken: Spoken English

spoken word

A type of poetry that is read aloud in a performance. I'll be reading some of my spoken word poetry tonight at the coffee house, if you want to stop by.
See also: spoken, word

speak out of turn

To say something erroneous, foolish, or impudent at an inappropriate time, or to speak when one does not have the authority to do so. I hope I'm not speaking out of turn, but I think we'd see a higher profit margin if we took better care of our employees' benefits. If you speak out of turn in my class, you can expect detention!
See also: of, out, speak, turn

there's many a true word spoken in jest

The things that one jokes about may in fact be true or become true. I know she said she was joking about being depressed, but I'm concerned—there's many a true word spoken in jest.
See also: jest, many, spoken, true, word

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: speak

spoken for

1. Already claimed, purchased, or reserved. I'm sorry, this seat is spoken for. It looks like this car is spoken for. Let's see if they have any others for a good price.
2. Already in a romantic relationship. I'm thinking of asking John out. Do you know if he's spoken for?
See also: spoken

speak out

To voice one's opinion loudly, aggressively, or publicly. If I had only spoken out when I suspected something was wrong, none of this would have happened. Many senators on both sides of the aisle are speaking out against the proposed legislation.
See also: out, speak

speak the same language

To share and/or understand one another's opinions, values, beliefs, tastes, etc. Likened to literally speaking the same language as another person and therefore being able to communicate fluently. A: "I say we stop here and get some ice cream." B: "You and I are speaking the same language." Bill and my dad are getting along very well together. They're both obsessed with hockey, so they speak the same language.
See also: language, same, speak

speak up

1. To speak louder. What's that you're saying? Speak up!
2. To voice one's opinion loudly, aggressively, or publicly. If I had only spoken up when I suspected something was wrong, none of this would have happened. Many senators on both sides of the aisle are speaking up against the proposed legislation.
See also: speak, up

speak up for (one)

To testify, argue, or give defense on behalf of one. Thank you for speaking up for me back there. I think the boss was ready to fire me! Our organization's goal is to speak up for the disenfranchised groups of the country.
See also: speak, up

speak ill of (someone or something)

To say malicious, objectionable, or defamatory things about someone or something. I've just always had the philosophy that it does no good to speak ill of anyone, so instead I direct that energy toward finding solutions to problems. Anyone who speaks ill of the government in this country runs the risk of being thrown in prison, or worse. You say we shouldn't speak ill of the dead, but we should never forget the misdeeds of those who were once in power, lest history repeats itself.
See also: ill, of, speak

speak of

1. Literally, to discuss, mention, or talk about someone or something. We were just speaking of the new intern—what do you think of him? Let's never speak of this again.
2. To be indicative or suggestive of something. The dark, foreboding reds and oranges of the painting speak of the intense violence of the event. I must say, this initiative you've been showing speaks very well of your chances at this company.
See also: of, speak

speak (one's) piece

To share one's views or opinions out loud. Look, just give me five minutes to speak my piece, and then I'll leave you alone. You had your chance to speak your piece—now it's Sarah's turn.
See also: piece, speak

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

Many a true word is spoken in jest.

 and There's many a true word spoken in jest.
Prov. Just because something is said as a joke, it can still be true. Fred: Why did you make a joke about my being stingy? Do you really think I'm cheap? Ellen: Of course not, don't be silly. It was just a joke. Fred: But many a true word is spoken in jest.
See also: jest, many, spoken, true, word

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: speak

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: speak

speak of someone or something

 
1. to mention or discuss someone or something. Were we speaking of Judy? I don't recall. We were speaking of the new law.
2. [for a type of behavior or action] to reflect a particular quality. Jeff's behavior spoke of a good upbringing. Her good singing voice speaks of years of training.
See also: of, speak

speak out

to speak loudly; to speak to be heard. (See also speak out (about someone or something).) Please speak out. We need to hear you. They won't hear you in the back row if you don't speak out.
See also: out, speak

speak out (on something)

to say something frankly and directly; to speak one's mind. This law is wrong, and I intend to speak out on it until it is repealed. You must speak out. People need to know what you think.
See also: out, speak

speak out

(against someone or something) to speak negatively and publicly about someone or something; to reveal something negative, in speech, about someone or something. I don't want to speak out against my friends, but I am afraid I have to. The citizens spoke out against corruption in government.
See also: out, speak

speak out of turn

Fig. to say something unwise or imprudent; to say something at the wrong time. Excuse me if I'm speaking out of turn, but what you are proposing is quite wrong. Bob was quite honest, even if he was speaking out of turn.
See also: of, out, speak, turn

speak out (on something)

to say something frankly and directly; to speak one's mind. This law is wrong, and I intend to speak out on it until it is repealed. You must speak out. People need to know what you think.
See also: out, speak

speak the same language

 
1. Lit. [for two or more people] to communicate in a shared language. These two people don't speak the same language and need an interpreter.
2. Fig. [for people] to have similar ideas, tastes, etc. Jane and Jack get along very well. They really speak the same language about almost everything. Bob and his father didn't speak the same language when it comes to politics.
See also: language, same, speak

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

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

speak up

 
1. Lit. to speak more loudly. They can't hear you in the back of the room. Please speak up. What? speak up, please. I'm hard of hearing.
2. Fig. to speak out something). If you think that this is wrong, you must speak up and say so. I'm too shy to speak up.
See also: speak, up

speak up (against someone or something)

to end one's silence and speak negatively and publicly about someone or something. She finally spoke up against her cruel boss. We all felt like we had to speak up and denounce this tyrant.
See also: speak, up

spoken for

taken; reserved (for someone). I'm sorry, but this piece of cake is already spoken for. Pardon me. Can I sit here, or is this seat spoken for?
See also: spoken

word (once) spoken is past recalling

Prov. Once you have said something, you cannot undo the result of having said it. Hilary apologized for having called Mark's suit cheap, but Mark was still offended. A word once spoken is past recalling.
See also: past, recall, spoken, word

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: speak

speak the same language

Understand one another very well, agree with each other, as in Negotiations went on for days, but finally both sides realized they weren't speaking the same language . This term, alluding to literal understanding of spoken words, dates from the late 1800s.
See also: language, same, speak

speak up

1. Also, speak out. Talk loudly, so as to be heard, as in Speak up, child, I can't hear you, or He should speak out so that those in back can hear him. The first term dates from the early 1700s, the variant from the early 1500s.
2. Also, speak up for. Express one's opinion or one's support for someone or something. For example, When it comes to speaking up about the town's needs, you can rely on Mary, or I'm glad you spoke up for me in that meeting. [c. 1700]
See also: speak, up

speak the same language

If people speak the same language, they have the same views about things or want to achieve the same things. Like Castle, Wilson had been brought up in a similar way, and they spoke the same language. We have to make sure that the seller and the customer are both speaking the same language.
See also: language, same, speak

speak the same language

understand one another as a result of shared opinions and values.
1990 New Age Journal I translate between Greenpeace-speak and record industry-speak, because the two groups just don't speak the same language.
See also: language, same, speak

speak (or talk) out of turn

speak in a tactless or foolish way.
See also: of, out, speak, turn

the spoken/written ˈword

the language, in speaking/writing: The spoken word is often very different from the written word.
See also: spoken, word, written

speak for

v.
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: speak

speak of

v.
1. To speak about someone or something: She spoke fondly of her childhood home.
2. To give an indication or suggestion of something: His biography speaks of great loneliness.
See also: of, speak

speak out

v.
To talk freely and fearlessly, as about a public issue: Only one newspaper spoke out against the dictator. The politician was not afraid to speak out on controversial issues. Everyone was concerned about the problem, but no one spoke out.
See also: out, speak

speak to

v.
To address some topic: The mayor spoke to the issue of tax increases.
See also: speak

speak up

v.
1. To speak loud enough to be audible: Speak up—I can't hear you.
2. To speak without fear or hesitation: You have to speak up if you want something.
See also: speak, up

spoken for

Reserved or requested: Is that seat spoken for?
See also: spoken
References in periodicals archive ?
The more there were, the more English would be spoken.
The villagers communicate almost as much by singing, whistling, and humming as they do with spoken words, he reports.
But the only alert you get that it's on or off is Excel's spoken message, so listen carefully.
In many businesses that immigrants are working in the primary language spoken there isn't English.
This graph shows 13 of the most widely spoken minority languages in Russia by number of speakers.
More than a hundred languages are spoken daily in Canadian homes and on the streets.
The phrase "music-based literary form" helps define what today is called spoken word/performance poetry.
On the other hand, if the voice recognition software is unable to recognize and properly interpret the words spoken, users can become increasingly frustrated and concerned that they cannot accomplish their task.
For those unfamiliar with dictation software, it is a revelation to see your spoken word appear on the screen, as if by magic.
However, it must also be remembered that Creole is the unofficial language spoken by many, if not most, of the inhabitants of the Caribbean countries.
The audience will make their first impression solely on the way the speaker looks, even before hearing any spoken words.
The film also translates the written Italian words of the already-translated gospel into the spoken Italian words of the movie's actors, in a nearly word by word representation of dialogue from Matthew's story.
I have worked in Iran, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait and Bahrain and was able to learn quite a bit of each language spoken.