1. The faculty of uttering articulate sounds or words; the faculty of expressing thoughts by words or articulate sounds; the power of speaking. There is none comparable to the variety of instructive expressions by speech, wherewith man alone is endowed for the communication of his thoughts. (Holder)

2. He act of speaking; that which is spoken; words, as expressing ideas; language; conversation.

Speech is voice modulated by the throat, tongue, lips, etc, the modulation being accomplished by changing the form of the cavity of the mouth and nose through the action of muscles which move their walls. O goode God! how gentle and how kind Ye seemed by your speech and your visage The day that maked was our marriage. (Chaucer) The acts of god . . . To human ears Can nort without process of speech be told. (milton)

3. A particular language, as distinct from others; a tongue; a dialect. People of a strange speech and of an hard language. (Ezek. Iii. 6)

4. Talk; mention; common saying. The duke . . . Did of me demand What was the speech among the Londoners Concerning the french journey. (Shak)

5. Formal discourse in public; oration; harangue. The constant design of these orators, in all their speeches, was to drive some one particular point. (swift)

6. Ny declaration of thoughts. I. With leave of speech implored, . . . Replied. (milton)

Synonym: Harangue, language, address, oration. See Harangue, and Language.

Origin: OE. Speche, AS. Spc, spr, fr. Specan, sprecan, to spe 3e6 ak; akin to D. Spraak speech, OHG. Sprahha, G. Sprache, Sw. Sprk, Dan. Sprog. See Speak.

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