speaking [spee-king] ExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. the act, utterance, or discourse of a person who speaks.
  2. speakings, literary works composed for recitation, as ancient bardic poetry; oral literature.


  1. that speaks.
  2. used in, suited to, or involving speaking or talking: the speaking voice.
  3. of or relating to declamation.
  4. giving information as if by speech: a speaking proof of a thing.
  5. highly expressive: speaking eyes.
  6. lifelike: a speaking likeness.


  1. not on speaking terms, not or no longer in a relationship of open, willing, or ready communication, as because of resentment or estrangement: They had a squabble during the holidays, and now they’re not on speaking terms.
  2. on speaking terms,
    1. in a relationship close enough for or limited to friendly superficialities: I don’t know the hosts well, but we are certainly on speaking terms.
    2. in a relationship of open, willing, or ready communication: Now that the debt has been settled, I hope you and your partner are on speaking terms again.

Origin of speaking Middle English word dating back to 1200–50; see origin at speak, -ing1, -ing2 Related formsspeak·ing·ly, adverbspeak·ing·ness, nounnon·speak·ing, adjectivewell-speak·ing, adjective Examples from the Web for well-speaking Historical Examples of well-speaking

  • To be wise is the use of wisdom, as seeing is the use of eyes and well-speaking the use of eloquence.

    Museum of Antiquity

    L. W. Yaggy

  • British Dictionary definitions for well-speaking speaking adjective

    1. (prenominal) eloquent, impressive, or striking
      1. able to speak
      2. (in combination)able to speak a particular languageFrench-speaking
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