- enPR: sā, IPA: /seɪ/, X-SAMPA: /seI/
- Rhymes: -eɪ
- To pronounce .
- To recite .
- To communicate, either verbally or in writing .
- To indicate in a written form .
- ( impersonal ) to have a common expression; used in singular passive voice or plural active voice to indicate a rumor or well-known fact.
- 1815, George Gordon Byron, The Hebrew Melodies/They say that Hope is happiness:
- 1819, Great Britain Court of Chancery, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the High Court of Chancery, page 8:
- 1841, Christopher Marshall, The Knickerbocker ( New-York Monthly Magazine ), page 379:
- ( informal, imperative ) Let's say; used to mark an example, supposition or hypothesis.
- 1984, Martin Amis, Money: a suicide note
- See Wikisaurus:utter
From Middle English seyen, seggen, from Old English secġan ( “to say, speak” ), from Proto-Germanic *sagjanan ( “to say” ), from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷe-, *skʷē- ( “to tell, talk” ). Cognate with West Frisian sizze ( “to say” ), Dutch zeggen ( “to say” ), German sagen ( “to say” ), Swedish säga ( “to say” ) .
Explanation of say by Wordnet Dictionary
- Say grace
- I cannot say `zip wire'
- Say ( sā ), obs. imp. of See. Saw. Chaucer.
- Say ( sā ), n. [Aphetic form of assay.]
1. Trial by sample; assay; sample; specimen; smack. [Obs.]
If those principal works of God . . . be but certain tastes and says, as it were, of that final benefit. Hooker.
Thy tongue some say of breeding breathes. Shak.
2. Tried quality; temper; proof. [Obs.]
He found a sword of better say. Spenser.
3. Essay; trial; attempt. [Obs.]
To give a say at, to attempt. B. Jonson.
- Say, v. t. To try; to assay. [Obs.] B. Jonson.
- Say, n. [OE. saie, F. saie, fr. L. saga, equiv. to sagum, sagus, a coarse woolen mantle; cf. Gr. σάγος. See Sagum.]
1. A kind of silk or satin. [Obs.]
Thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord! Shak.
2. A delicate kind of serge, or woolen cloth. [Obs.]
His garment neither was of silk nor say. Spenser.
- Say, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Said ( sĕd ), contracted from sayed; p. pr. & vb. n. Saying.] [OE. seggen, seyen, siggen, sayen, sayn, AS. secgan; akin to OS. seggian, D. zeggen, LG. seggen, OHG. sagēn, G. sagen, Icel. segja, Sw. säga, Dan. sige, Lith. sakyti; cf. OL. insece tell, relate, Gr. ἔννεπε ( for ἐν-σεπε ), ἔσπετε. Cf. Saga, Saw a saying.]
1. To utter or express in words; to tell; to speak; to declare; as, “he said many wise things”.
Arise, and say how thou camest here. Shak.
2. To repeat; to rehearse; to recite; to pronounce; as, “to say a lesson”.
Of my instruction hast thou nothing bated
In what thou hadst to say? Shak.
After which shall be said or sung the following hymn. Bk. of Com. Prayer.
3. To announce as a decision or opinion; to state positively; to assert; hence, to form an opinion upon; to be sure about; to be determined in mind as to.
But what it is, hard is to say. Milton.
4. To mention or suggest as an estimate, hypothesis, or approximation; hence, to suppose; -- in the imperative, followed sometimes by the subjunctive; as, “he had, say fifty thousand dollars; the fox had run, say ten miles”.
Say, for nonpayment that the debt should double,
Is twenty hundred kisses such a trouble? Shak.
It is said, or They say, it is commonly reported; it is rumored; people assert or maintain. -- That is to say, that is; in other words; otherwise.
- Say, v. i. To speak; to express an opinion; to make answer; to reply.
You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge. Shak.
To this argument we shall soon have said; for what concerns it us to hear a husband divulge his household privacies? Milton.
- Say, n. [From Say, v. t.; cf. Saw a saying.] A speech; something said; an expression of opinion; a current story; a maxim or proverb. [Archaic or Colloq.]
He no sooner said out his say, but up rises a cunning snap. L'Estrange.
That strange palmer's boding say,
That fell so ominous and drear
Full on the object of his fear. Sir W. Scott.
Definition of say by GCIDE Dictionary