- a maxim, adage, or proverb
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- something said, esp. a proverb:the old saying, "A stitch in time saves nine.''
- something said, esp. a proverb or apothegm.
- Idiomsgo without saying, to be completely self-evident;
be understood:It goes without saying that you are welcome to visit us at any time.
- 1250–1300; Middle English (gerund, gerundive); see say1, -ing1
- 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged maxim, adage, saw, aphorism.
- to utter or pronounce;
speak:[~ + object]Don't say a word.
- to express (something) in words;
declare: [~ + (that) clause]I wrote and said (that) I wanted to see her again.[used with quotations]"I'll be there,'' he said.[~ + object]I've said my piece (= I've expressed my thoughts).
- to state (something) as an opinion or judgment: [~ + (that) clause]I say (that) we should wait here.[no object]What should I do? I just can't say.
- to recite or repeat:[~ + object]said his prayers and went to bed.
- to express (a message, etc.), as through words, etc.:[~ + object]What does this painting say to you?
- to indicate or show:[~ + object]What does your watch say? The clock says ten-thirty.
- (used as a command, or as a polite command after let's) suppose;
imagine:[~ + (that) clause]Say (that) you saw her on the street; what would you do then? Let's say (that) I had gambled all our money away.
about:It's, say, 14 feet across.
- for example:Suppose we asked a student, say, Janette here, for her opinion.
- what a person says or wishes to say;
one's turn to say something:She has already had her say.
- the right or chance to state an opinion or exercise influence:to have one's say in a decision.
- (used to express surprise or to get someone's attention):Say! That's great; you made it!
- Idiomsgo without saying, [it/that + ~ (+ (that) clause)] to be self-evident:It goes without saying (that) you must write a thank-you note for a gift.
- Idiomsthat is to say, [no object] in other words;
meaning (that):The judge threw the book at him; that is to say, gave him the maximum sentence.
- The verbs say and tell are sometimes confused. The verb say does not take a person as its direct object, only a word or clause:He said a few words and sat down.If a person is mentioned after say, the word to must be used before it:He said to her that he was ready.The verb tell may take a person as an object:He told her he was ready.
- to utter or pronounce;
speak:What did you say? I said "Hello!''
- to express in words;
word:Say it clearly and simply. It's hard to know how to say this tactfully.
- to state as an opinion or judgment:I say her plan is the better one.
- to be certain, precise, or assured about;
determine:It is hard to say what is wrong.
- to recite or repeat:to say one's prayers.
- to report or allege;
maintain:People say he will resign.
- to express (a message, viewpoint, etc.), as through a literary or other artistic medium:a writer with something to say.
- to indicate or show:What does your watch say?
- to assume as a hypothesis or estimate:Let's say, for the sake of argument, that it's true.
- to speak;
express an opinion.
- Idiomsthat is to say, that is what is meant;
in other words:I believe his account of the story, that is to say, I have no reason to doubt it.
about:It's, say, 14 feet long.
- for example:If you serve, say tuna fish and potato chips, it will cost much less.
- what a person says or has to say.
- the right or opportunity to speak, decide, or exercise influence:to have one's say in choosing the candidate.
- a turn to say something:It is now my say.
- (used to express surprise, get attention, etc.)
- bef. 900; Middle English seyen, seggen, Old English secgan; cognate with Dutch zeggen, German sagen, Old Norse segja; akin to saw3
say2 (sā),USA pronunciation v.t., n. [Brit. Dial.]
- British Termsassay.
- Middle English sayen, aphetic variant of assayen to assay 1350–1400
say3 (sā),USA pronunciation n.
- Textilesa thin silk or woolen fabric similar to serge, much used in the 16th century.
- Latin saga, plural of sagum woolen cloak, said to be
- Old French saie
- Middle English 1250–1300
Say (sā),USA pronunciation n.
- BiographicalThomas, 1787–1834, U.S. entomologist.
- to speak, pronounce, or utter
- (also intr) to express (an idea) in words; tell
- (also intr; may take a clause as object) to state (an opinion, fact, etc) positively; declare; affirm
- to recite: to say grace
- (may take a clause as object) to report or allege: they say we shall have rain today
- (may take a clause as object) to take as an assumption; suppose: let us say that he is lying
- (may take a clause as object) to convey by means of artistic expression
- to make a case for
- go without saying ⇒ to be so obvious as to need no explanation
- I say! ⇒ chiefly Brit informal an exclamation of surprise
- not to say ⇒ even; and indeed
- that is to say ⇒ in other words; more explicitly
- to say the least ⇒ without the slightest exaggeration; at the very least
- approximately: there were, say, 20 people present
- for example: choose a number, say, four
- the right or chance to speak: let him have his say
- authority, esp to influence a decision: he has a lot of say in the company's policy
- a statement of opinion: you've had your say, now let me have mine
- US Canadian informal an exclamation to attract attention or express surprise, etc