Definition of speech noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//spiːtʃ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//spiːtʃ//
    Elements of a play, Marriage
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  1. 1  [countable] speech (on/about something) a formal talk that a person gives to an audience to give/make/deliver a speech on human rights He made the announcement in a speech on television. Several people made speeches at the wedding. Synonymsspeechlecture address talk sermonThese are all words for a talk given to an audience.speech a formal talk given to an audience:Several people made speeches at the wedding.lecture a talk given to a group of people to tell them about a particular subject, often as part of a university or college course:a lecture on the Roman army a course/​series of lecturesaddress a formal speech given to an audience:a televised presidential addressspeech or address?A speech can be given on a public or private occasion; an address is always public:He gave an address at the wedding.talk a fairly informal session in which somebody tells a group of people about a subject:She gave an interesting talk on her visit to China.sermon a talk on a moral or religious subject, usually given by a religious leader during a service:to preach a sermonPatterns a long/​short speech/​lecture/​address/​talk/​sermon a keynote speech/​lecture/​address to write/​prepare/​give/​deliver/​hear a(n) speech/​lecture/​address/​talk/​sermon to attend/​go to a lecture/​talk See related entries: Marriage
  2. 2  [uncountable] the ability to speak I seemed to have lost the power of speech. a speech defect freedom of speech (= the right to say openly what you think)
  3. 3  [uncountable] the way in which a particular person speaks Her speech was slurred—she was clearly drunk.
  4. 4  [uncountable] the language used when speaking This expression is used mainly in speech, not in writing. speech sounds
  5. 5[countable] a group of lines that an actor speaks in a play in the theatre She has the longest speech in the play. Wordfindercomedy, denouement, dialogue, drama, dramatic irony, play, scene, set, soliloquy, speech Wordfinderact, cast, drama, entrance, exit, line, play, role, scene, speech See related entries: Elements of a play
  6. see also figure of speech
    Word OriginOld English sprǣc, sprēc, later spēc, of West Germanic origin: related to Dutch spraak, German Sprache, also to speak.Word Familyspeak verbspeaker nounspeech nounspoken adjective (unspoken)Extra examples Certain grammatical rules must be followed when describing a conversation in reported speech. George Washington’s inaugural speech He delivered his final speech to Congress. He delivered the commencement speech at Notre Dame University. He learned to successfully mimic American speech patterns. He temporarily lost the power of speech after the accident. His speech was broadcast on national radio. In her speech to the House of Commons, she outlined her vision of Britain in the 21st century. Most people have speech, but significantly fewer have writing. President Bush delivered his 2004 State of the Union speech. She could tell by his slurred speech that he had been drinking. She gave a speech on the economy. She made a stirring campaign speech on improving the lot of the unemployed. Speech codes have been instituted by some universities= to stop language that is sexist, racist, etc. The President will deliver a major foreign-policy speech to the United Nations. The author’s punctuation goes outside speech marks. The candidates gave their standard stump speeches. The demonstrators were demanding free speech. The demonstrators were demanding rights of assembly and free speech. The members of a speech community share many cultural attitudes. The prizewinner gave an emotional acceptance speech. These computers are capable of speech recognition. When we say we’re ‘dead tired’, it’s just a figure of speech. When we talk about ‘selfish’ genes it is just a figure of speech. a Senate floor speech her maiden speech in the House of Commons phonological variation in a speech community racist hate speech the Chancellor’s Budget speech the Prime Minister’s speech-writers the right of/​to freedom of speech the use of language in everyday speech Clear speech with crisp consonant sounds is very important. She’s been asked to give the after-dinner speech. You will need to prepare an acceptance speech.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: speech