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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
say•ing /ˈseɪɪŋ/USA pronunciation   n. [countable]

    something said, esp. a proverb:the old saying, "A stitch in time saves nine.''

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
say•ing  (sāing), 
  1. something said, esp. a proverb or apothegm.
  2. Idiomsgo without saying, to be completely self-evident;
    be understood:It goes without saying that you are welcome to visit us at any time.
Middle English (gerund, gerundive);
see say1, -ing1
1 . maxim, adage, saw, aphorism.
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
say1 /seɪ/USA pronunciation   v., said/sɛd/USA pronunciation  say•ing, adv., n., interj. 

  • [+ object] to utter or pronounce;
    speak: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.
  • [+ object] to recite or repeat:said his prayers and went to bed.
  • [+ object] to express (a message, etc.), as through words, etc.:What does this painting say to you?
  • [+ object] to indicate or show:What does your watch say? The clock says ten-thirty.
  • [+ (that) clause] (used as a command, or as a polite command after let's) suppose; assume;
    imagine:Say (that) you saw her on the street;
    what would you do then? Let's say (that) I had gambled all our money away.

  • adv. 
  • approximately;
    about:It's, say, 14 feet across.
  • for example:Suppose we asked a student, say, Janette here, for her opinion.

  • n. [uncountable]
  • 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.

  • interj. 
  • (used to express surprise or to get someone's attention):Say! That's great; you made it!
  • idiom
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2015
    say1  (sā), 
    v., said, say•ing, adv., n., interj. 

  • to utter or pronounce;
    speak:What did you say? I said "Hello!''
  • to express in words; state;
    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.

  • v.i. 
  • to speak; declare;
    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.

  • adv. 
  • approximately;
    about:It's, say, 14 feet long.
  • for example:If you serve, say tuna fish and potato chips, it will cost much less.

  • n. 
  • 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.

  • interj. 
  • (used to express surprise, get attention, etc.)
  • Etymology:bef. 900;
    Middle English seyen, seggen, Old English secgan;
    cognate with Dutch zeggen, German sagen, Old Norse segja;
    akin to saw3
    sayer, n. 

    say2  (sā), 
    v.t., n. [Brit. Dial.]

      British Termsassay.
    • Middle English sayen, aphetic variant of assayen to assay 1350–1400

    say3  (sā), 

      Textilesa thin silk or woolen fabric similar to serge, much used in the 16th century.
    • Gaulish
    • Latin saga, plural of sagum woolen cloak, said to be
    • Old French saie
    • Middle English 1250–1300

    Say  (sā), 
      Jean Bap•tiste  (zhän ba tēst), 
      1767–1832, French economist. Cf.Say's law. 

      MonarchyThomas, 1787–1834, U.S. entomologist.

    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    saying /ˈseɪɪŋ/ n
    1. a maxim, adage, or proverb

    say /seɪ/ vb (says /sɛz/, saying, said)(mainly tr)
    1. to speak, pronounce, or utter
    2. (also intr) to express (an idea) in words; tell
    3. (also intr; may take a clause as object) to state (an opinion, fact, etc) positively; declare; affirm
    4. to recite: to say grace
    5. (may take a clause as object) to report or allege: they say we shall have rain today
    6. (may take a clause as object) to take as an assumption; suppose: let us say that he is lying
    7. (may take a clause as object) to convey by means of artistic expression
    8. to make a case for
    9. go without sayingto be so obvious as to need no explanation
    10. I say!chiefly Brit informal an exclamation of surprise
    11. not to sayeven; and indeed
    12. that is to sayin other words; more explicitly
    13. to say the leastwithout the slightest exaggeration; at the very least
    1. approximately: there were, say, 20 people present
    2. for example: choose a number, say, four
    1. the right or chance to speak: let him have his say
    2. authority, esp to influence a decision: he has a lot of say in the company's policy
    3. a statement of opinion: you've had your say, now let me have mine
    1. US Canadian informal an exclamation to attract attention or express surprise, etc
    Etymology: Old English secgan; related to Old Norse segja, Old Saxon seggian, Old High German sagēn

    ˈsayer n


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