say
Pronunciation
Verb

say (says, present participle saying; past and past participle said)

  1. (transitive) To pronounce.
    Please say your name slowly and clearly.
  2. (transitive) To recite.
    Martha, will you say the Pledge of Allegiance?
  3. (transitive) To tell, either verbally or in writing.
    He said he would be here tomorrow.
    • 2016, [https://web.archive.org/web/20171030003034/https://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/lets-learn-english-lesson-8-are-you-busy/3253185.html VOA Learning English] (public domain)
      I want to say I’m sorry for yesterday. - It’s okay, Anna.
  4. (transitive) To indicate in a written form.
    The sign says it’s 50 kilometres to Paris.
  5. (impersonal, transitive) To have a common expression; used in singular passive voice or plural active voice to indicate a rumor or well-known fact.
    They say "when in Rome, do as the Romans do", which means "behave as those around you do."
    • 1815, George Gordon Byron, The Hebrew Melodies/They say that Hope is happiness:
      They say that Hope is happiness; But genuine Love must prize the past.
    • 1819, Great Britain Court of Chancery, Reports of Cases Argued and Determined in the High Court of Chancery, page 8:
      It is said, a bargain cannot be set aside upon inadequacy only.
    • 1841, Christopher Marshall, The Knickerbocker (New-York Monthly Magazine), page 379:
      It’s said that fifteen wagon loads of ready-made clothes for the Virginia troops came to, and stay in, town to-night.
  6. (informal, imperative, transitive) Suppose, assume; used to mark an example, supposition or hypothesis.
    A holiday somewhere warm – Florida, say – would be nice.
    Say he refuses. What do we do then?
    Say your family is starving and you don't have any money, is it ok to steal some food?
    • 1984, Martin Amis, Money: a suicide note
      I've followed Selina down the strip, when we're shopping, say, and she strolls on ahead, wearing sawn-off jeans and a wash-withered T-shirt […]
  7. (intransitive) To speak; to express an opinion; to make answer; to reply.
    • c. 1598–1600, William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act III, scene ii]:
      You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge
    • {{RQ:Milton Eikonoklastes|passage=To this argument we shall soon have said; for what concerns it us to hear a husband divulge his household privacies?
  8. (transitive, informal, of a possession, especially money) To bet as a wager on an outcome; by extension, used to express belief in an outcome by the speaker.
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • French: il paraît, on dit
  • German: es heißt, man sagt
  • Italian: si dice
  • Portuguese: diz-se, dizem
  • Spanish: se dice
Translations
Noun

say (plural says)

  1. A chance to speak; the right or power to influence or make a decision.

Adverb

say (not comparable)

  1. For example; let us assume.
    Pick a color you think they'd like, say, peach.
    He was driving pretty fast, say, fifty miles per hour.

Interjection
  1. (colloquial) Used to gain someone's attention before making an inquiry or suggestion
    Say, what did you think about the movie?
Synonyms
  • (used to gain attention) hey

Noun

say

  1. A type of fine cloth similar to serge.
    • 1579, Edmund Spenser, “Avgvst”, in The Shepheardes Calender: Conteyning Tvvelue Æglogues Proportionable to the Twelue Monethes. Entitled to the Noble and Vertuous Gentleman Most Worthy of All Titles both of Learning and Cheualrie M. Philip Sidney, London: Printed by Hugh Singleton, dwelling in Creede Lane neere vnto Ludgate at the signe of the gylden Tunne, and are there to be solde, OCLC 606515406; republished London: Printed by Bar[tholomew] Alsop for Iohn Harrison the elder, and are to bee solde at his shop at the signe of the golden Anker in Pater Noster Row, OCLC 863502068, in The Faerie Queene: The Shepheards Calendar: Together with the Other Works of England’s Arch-Poët, Edm. Spenser: Collected into One Volume, and Carefully Corrected, [London]: Printed by H[umphrey] L[ownes] for Mathew Lownes, 1617, OCLC 940410628, page 35 ↗, column 2:
      smallcaps Per[igot] VVell decked in a frocke of gray, / smallcaps Wil[ly] hey ho, gray is greet, / smallcaps Per. And in a kirtle of green ſay, / smallcaps [Wil.] the greene is for maydens meet.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, I.iv:
      All in a kirtle of discolourd say / He clothed was […]

Verb

say (says, present participle saying; past and past participle sayed)

  1. To try; to assay.

Noun

say (plural says)

  1. Trial by sample; assay; specimen.
    • If those principal works of God […] be but certain tastes and says, as if were, of that final benefit.
    • c. 1603–1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of King Lear”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act V, scene iii]:
      Thy tongue some say of breeding breathes.
  2. Tried quality; temper; proof.
    • He found a sword of better say.
  3. Essay; trial; attempt.

Noun

say (plural says)

  1. (Scotland) A strainer for milk.



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