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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Spake \Spake\, archaic imp. of Speak.


Speak \Speak\, v. i. [imp. Spoke( SpakeArchaic); 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. sph[=u]rj to crackle, to thunder. Cf. Spark of fire, Speech.]

  1. To utter words or articulate sounds, as human beings; to express thoughts by words; as, the organs may be so obstructed that a man may not be able to speak.

    Till at the last spake in this manner.

    Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth.
    --1 Sam. iii. 9.

  2. To express opinions; to say; to talk; to converse.

    That fluid substance in a few minutes begins to set, as the tradesmen speak.

    An honest man, is able to speak for himself, when a knave is not.

    During the century and a half which followed the Conquest, there is, to speak strictly, no English history.

  3. To utter a speech, discourse, or harangue; to adress a public assembly formally.

    Many of the nobility made themselves popular by speaking in Parliament against those things which were most grateful to his majesty.

  4. To discourse; to make mention; to tell.

    Lycan speaks of a part of C[ae]sar's army that came to him from the Leman Lake.

  5. To give sound; to sound.

    Make all our trumpets speak.

  6. To convey sentiments, ideas, or intelligence as if by utterance; as, features that speak of self-will.

    Thine eye begins to speak.

    To speak of, to take account of, to make mention of.
    --Robynson (More's Utopia).

    To speak out, to speak loudly and distinctly; also, to speak unreservedly.

    To speak well for, to commend; to be favorable to.

    To speak with, to converse with. ``Would you speak with me?''

    Syn: To say; tell; talk; converse; discourse; articulate; pronounce; utter.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

archaic or poetic past tense of speak.


Etymology 1

  1. 1 (context obsolete English) quiet; tame. 2 (context obsolete English) ready; prompt. Etymology 2


  2. (context archaic English) (en-simple past of: speak)


Spake may refer to:

  • Jeremy Spake (born 1969), English TV personality
  • Shannon Spake (born 1976), American Sports reporter

Usage examples of "spake".

For I spake with thee, it is nigh two years agone, when thou wert abiding the coming of our Lady in the castle yonder But now I see of thee that thou art brighter-faced, and mightier of aspect than aforetime, and it is in my mind that the Lady of Abundance must have loved thee and holpen thee, and blessed thee with some great blessing.

But stand he must unto his owen harm, For when he spake, he was anon borne down With Hendy Nicholas and Alisoun.

Who can realize that the workings of that mighty mind have ceased, that the throbbings of that gallant heart are stilled, that the mighty sweep of that graceful arm will be felt no more, and the magic of that eloquent tongue, which spake as spake no other tongue besides, is hushed hushed for ever!

The faint and frail Cathedral chimes Spake time in music, and we heard The chafers rustling in the limes.

I spake of nigher than I deemed when we came into the Burg this morning.

So was Ralph sore at heart for the damsel, and anon he spake to Bull again of her, who deemed somewhat, that his kinsman had been minded at the first to sell her to the lord of Utterbol.

For in such wise she spake of thee, that I deemed that naught would sunder you save death.

Thus they went for an hour, and the elder spake not again, though it might have been deemed by his eyes that he was eager and fain.

But now that I am on the green grass of the earth I called to mind a dream that came to me when we slept after the precious draught of the Well: for methought that I was standing before the porch of the Feast-hall of Upmeads and holding thine hand, and the ancient House spake to me with the voice of a man, greeting both thee and me, and praising thy goodliness and valiancy.

And now with prouoked teares downe falling from my waterie eyes along my pale cheekes, and bowed downe to the earth prostrating my selfe to your virginall feete I humblie craue and sue for your fauourable graces: whereat theyr soft and tender heartes mooued with pittie towardes mee, and halfe weeping with mee for companie, and as it were dutifullye striuing with theyr armes to lift mee vp from the grounde, with sweete and comfortable speeches, they courteouslye spake vnto me.

I spake to him, and told him how that he, If I were widow, shoulde wedde me.

Our god spake unto Moop, and Moop did take what he spake very seriously.

So spake our Morning Star, then in his rise, And, looking round, on every side beheld A pathless desert, dusk with horrid shades.

Wherewithall shee barred and propped the doore, and came to me againe, and embracing me lovingly about the neck with both her armes, spake with a soft voice and said, I doe greatly feare to discover the privities of this house, and to utter the secret mysteries of my dame.

Ralph reddened as he spake, and Ursula looked on him anxiously, but that talk dropped for the present, and they fell to talking of lighter and more familiar matters.