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saying Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
    expression; locution.
    • pardon the expression
  2. verb express in words
    state; say; tell.
    • He said that he wanted to marry her
    • tell me what is bothering you
    • state your opinion
    • state your name
  3. verb report or maintain
    aver; say; allege.
    • He alleged that he was the victim of a crime
    • He said it was too late to intervene in the war
    • The registrar says that I owe the school money
  4. verb express a supposition
    say; suppose.
    • Let us say that he did not tell the truth
    • Let's say you had a lot of money--what would you do?
  5. verb have or contain a certain wording or form
    read; say.
    • The passage reads as follows
    • What does the law say?
  6. verb give instructions to or direct somebody to do something with authority
    say; enjoin; order; tell.
    • I said to him to go home
    • She ordered him to do the shopping
    • The mother told the child to get dressed
  7. verb speak, pronounce, or utter in a certain way
    sound out; pronounce; enunciate; articulate; say; enounce.
    • She pronounces French words in a funny way
    • I cannot say `zip wire'
    • Can the child sound out this complicated word?
  8. verb communicate or express nonverbally
    • What does this painting say?
    • Did his face say anything about how he felt?
  9. verb utter aloud
    • She said `Hello' to everyone in the office
  10. verb state as one's opinion or judgement; declare
    • I say let's forget this whole business
  11. verb recite or repeat a fixed text
    • Say grace
    • She said her `Hail Mary'
  12. verb indicate
    • The clock says noon

Say"ing noun
  1. That which is said; a declaration; a statement, especially a proverbial one; an aphorism; a proverb.
    Many are the sayings of the wise, In ancient and in modern books enrolled. Milton.
    Syn. -- Declaration; speech; adage; maxim; aphorism; apothegm; saw; proverb; byword.

Webster 1913