speak

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, report"), cognate with L. spargere "to strew" (speech as a "scattering" of words; see SPARSE (Cf. sparse)).
The -r- began to drop out in Late West Saxon and was gone by mid-12c., perhaps from influence of Dan. spage "crackle," in a slang sense of "speak" (Cf. CRACK (Cf. crack) in slang senses having to do with speech, e.g. wisecrack, cracker, all it's cracked up to be). Rare variant forms without -r- also are found in M.Du. (speken) and O.H.G. (spehhan).
Not the primary word for "to speak" in Old English (the "Beowulf" author prefers maþelian, from mæþel "assembly, council," from root of metan "to meet;" Cf. Gk. agoreuo "to speak," originally "speak in the assembly," from agora "assembly").

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • 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

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