speak

speak, talk, converse can all mean to articulate words so as to express one's thoughts.
Speak is, in general, the broad term and may refer to utterances of any kind, however coherent or however broken or disconnected, and with or without reference to a hearer or hearers
{

not able to speak above a whisper

}
{

I shall speak to him about it

}
{

let him speak for the organization

}
{

most of the material in this book was spoken before it was printed, as may perhaps be inferred from the style— Davis

}
{

she repeated them, angered . . . but once the words were spoken she was sorry— McCullers

}
{

the Bellman looked scared, and was almost too frightened to speakLewis Carroll

}
Talk, on the other hand, usually implies an auditor or auditors and connected colloquy or discourse
{

he left the room because he did not care to talk

}
{

we talk in the bosom of our family in a way different from that in which we discourse on state occasions— Lowes

}
{

she talked and talked and talked, yet it seemed to Marjorie that she could never hear enough of this girl's worldly wisdom— Wouk

}
But speak is also used of relatively weighty or formal speech (often public speech), and talk, of what is more or less empty or frivolous
{

a fool may talk, but a wise man speaksBen Jonson

}
{

a good old man, sir; he will be talking—Shak.

}
{

yet there happened in my time one noble speaker who was full of gravity in his speaking .... No man ever spake more neatly, more pressly, more weightily, or suffered less emptiness, less idleness, in what he uttered— Ben Jonson

}
Converse implies an interchange in talk of thoughts and opinions
{

in the press conference the President can converse with the public rather than preach to it— Cater

}
{

don't ever remember hearing my parents converse, and they never even chatted. My father would expound on law and ritual, my mother would listen— Behrman

}
Analogous words: pronounce, *articulate, enunciate: *stammer, stutter: *discourse, expatiate, dilate, descant

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • speak*/*/*/ — [spiːk] (past tense spoke [spəʊk] ; past participle spoken [ˈspəʊkən] ) verb 1) to talk to someone about something We spoke yesterday.[/ex] I phoned your office and spoke to your assistant.[/ex] Let me speak with Jennifer and see what she… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • speak — W1S1 [spi:k] v past tense spoke [spəuk US spouk] past participle spoken [ˈspəukən US ˈspou ] ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(in conversation)¦ 2¦(say words)¦ 3¦(language)¦ 4¦(formal speech)¦ 5¦(express ideas/opinions)¦ 6 so to speak 7 speak your mind …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • speak — [ spik ] (past tense spoke [ spouk ] ; past participle spo|ken [ spoukən ] ) verb *** ▸ 1 talk about something or to someone ▸ 2 use voice to talk ▸ 3 talk particular language ▸ 4 give formal speech ▸ 5 express ideas/thoughts ▸ 6 talk on… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Speak — Ст …   Википедия

  • Speak — Speak, v. i. [imp. {Spoke}({Spake}Archaic); p. p. {Spoken}({Spoke}, Obs. or Colloq.); p. pr. & vb. n. {Speaking}.] [OE. speken, AS. specan, sprecan; akin to OF.ries. spreka, D. spreken, OS. spreken, G. sprechen, OHG. sprehhan, and perhaps to Skr …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • speak — [spēk] vi. spoke, spoken, speaking [ME speken < OE specan, earlier sprecan, akin to Ger sprechen < IE base * sp(h)er(e) g , to strew, sprinkle > SPARK1, L spargere, to sprinkle: basic sense “to scatter (words)”] 1. to utter words with… …   English World dictionary

  • Speak — can mean: * Speech communication * SPEAK (Suicide Prevention Education Awareness for Kids), a Maryland based organization for suicide prevention * Speak (artist), the Hungarian rap artist and internet phenomenon famous for his anti war video *… …   Wikipedia

  • speak — ► VERB (past spoke; past part. spoken) 1) say something. 2) (speak to) talk to in order to advise, pass on information, etc. 3) communicate in or be able to communicate in (a specified language). 4) (speak for) express the views or position of …   English terms dictionary

  • Speak — Speak, v. t. 1. To utter with the mouth; to pronounce; to utter articulately, as human beings. [1913 Webster] They sat down with him upn ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him. Job. ii. 13. [1913 Webster] 2. To utter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • speak of — ˈspeak of [transitive] [present tense I/you/we/they speak of he/she/it speaks of present participle speaking of past tense spoke of …   Useful english dictionary

  • speak — (v.) O.E. specan, variant of sprecan to speak (class V strong verb; past tense spræc, pp. sprecen), from P.Gmc. *sprekanan (Cf. O.S. sprecan, O.Fris. spreka, M.Du. spreken, O.H.G. sprehhan, Ger. sprechen to speak, O.N. spraki rumor …   Etymology dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.