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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [1]

1: Λέγω (Strong'S #3004 — Verb — lego — leg'-o )

primarily, "to pick out, gather," chiefly denotes "to say, speak, affirm," whether of actual speech, e.g.,  Matthew 11:17 , or of unspoken thought, e.g.,  Matthew 3:9 , or of a message in writing, e.g.,  2—Corinthians 8:8 . The 2nd aorist form eipon is used to supply that tense, which is lacking in lego. Concerning the phrase "he answered and said," it is a well known peculiarity of Hebrew narrative style that a speech is introduced, not simply by "and he said," but by prefixing "and he answered" (apokrinomai, with eipon). In  Matthew 14:27 , "saying," and  Mark 6:50 , "and saith," emphasis is perhaps laid on the fact that the Lord, hitherto silent as He moved over the lake, then addressed His disciples. That the phrase sometimes occurs where no explicit question has preceded (e.g.,  Matthew 11:25;  17:4;  28:5;  Mark 11:14;  12:35;  Luke 13:15;  14:3;  John 5:17,19 ), illustrates the use of the Hebrew idiom.

 Hebrews 8:1 John 12:49 John 12:50 1—Corinthians 14:34 1—Corinthians 14:35 Romans 3:19 Mark 6:50 Luke 24:6

2: Λαλέω (Strong'S #2980 — Verb — laleo — lal-eh'-o )

"to speak," is sometimes translated "to say;" in the following where the AV renders it thus, the RV alters it to the verb "to speak," e.g.,  John 8:25 (3rd part),26; 16:6; 18:20 (2nd part),21 (1st part);   Acts 3:22 (2nd part);   1—Corinthians 9:8 (1st part);   Hebrews 5:5; in the following the RV uses the verb "to say,"  John 16:18;  Acts 23:18 (2nd part); 26:22 (2nd part);   Hebrews 11:18 . See Note above, and SPEAK, Talk , Tell , Utter.

3: Φημί (Strong'S #5346 — Verb — phemi — fay-mee' )

"to declare, say," (a) is frequently used in quoting the words of another, e.g.,  Matthew 13:29;  26:61; (b) is interjected into the recorded words, e.g.,  Acts 23:35; (c) is used impersonally,  2—Corinthians 10:10 .

4: Λέγω (Strong'S #3004 — Verb — eiro — leg'-o )

an obsolete verb, has the future tense ereo, used, e.g., in  Matthew 7:4;  Luke 4:23 (2nd part); 13:25 (last part);   Romans 3:5;  4:1;  6:1;  7:7 (1st part); 8:31; 9:14,19,20,30; 11:19;   1—Corinthians 15:35;  2—Corinthians 12;6;  James 2:18 . The perfect is used, e.g., in  John 12:50; see No. 1, Note. The 1st aorist Passive, "it was said," is used in  Romans 9:12,26;  Revelation 6:11 . See Speak , No. 13.

5: Προλέγω (Strong'S #4302 — Verb — proeipon — prol-eg'-o )

and proereo, "to say before," used as aorist and future respectively of prolego (pro, "before," and No. 1), is used (a) of prophecy, e.g.,  Romans 9:29; "to tell before,"  Matthew 24:25;  Mark 13:23; "were spoken before,"  2—Peter 3:2;  Jude 1:17; (b) of "saying" before,  2—Corinthians 7:3;  13:2 , RV (AV, "to tell before" and "foretell");  Galatians 1:9;  5:21; in  1—Thessalonians 4:6 , "we forewarned," RV. See Foretell , Forewarn , Tell.

6: Ἀντί (Strong'S #473 — Preposition — anteipon — an-tee' )

"to say against" (anti, "against," and No. 1), is so rendered in  Acts 4:14 . See Gainsay.

 Acts 24:9 Revelation 2:2Affirm Acts 2:14 Matthew 27:46 Acts 1:19 Hebrews 9:11 10:20 Mark 7:11  John 1:38 20:16 Luke 7:40 Acts 13:15 Mark 6:22 Hebrews 5:11

King James Dictionary [2]

SAY, pret. and pp. said, contracted from sayed.

1. To speak to utter in words as, he said nothing he said many things he says not a word. Say a good word for me.

It is observable that although this word is radically synonymous with speak and tell, yet the uses are applications of these words are different. Thus we say, to speak an oration, to tell a story but in these phrases, say cannot be used. Yet to say a lesson is good English, though not very elegant. We never use the phrases to say a sermon or discourse, to say an argument, to say a speech, to say testimony.

A very general use of say is to introduce a relation, narration or recital, either of the speaker himself or of something said or done or to be done by another. Thus Adam said, this is bone of my bone Noah said, blessed be the Lord God of Shem. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. Say to the cities of Judah, behold your God. I cannot say what I should do in a similar case. Say thus precedes a sentence. But it is perhaps impracticable to reduce the peculiar and appropriate uses of say, speak and tell, to general rules. They can be learned only by observation.

2. To declare.  Genesis 38 . 3. To utter to pronounce.

Say now Shibboleth.  Judges 12 .

4. To utter, as a command.

God said, let there be light.  Genesis 1 .

5. To utter, as a promise.  Luke 23 . 6. To utter, as a question or answer.  Mark 11 . 7. To affirm to teach.  Matthew 17 . 8. To confess.  Luke 17 . 9. To testify.  Acts 26 . 10. To argue to allege by way of argument.

After all that can be said against a thing -

11. To repeat to rehearse to recite as, to say a lesson. 12. To pronounce to recite without singing. Then shall be said or sung as follows. 13. To report as in the phrases, it is said, they say. 14. To answer to utter by way of reply to tell.

Say, Stella, feel you no content, reflecting on a life well spent?

Note - This verb is not properly intransitive. In the phrase, "as when we say, Plato is no fool," the last clause is the object after the verb that is, "we say what follows." If this verb is properly intransitive in any case, it is in the phrase, "that is to say," but in such cases, the subsequent clause is the object of the verb, being that which is said, uttered or related.

SAY, n. A speech something said. In popular use, but not elegant.

SAY, n. for assay.

1. A sample. Obs. 2. Trial by sample. Obs.

SAY, n. A thin silk. Obs.


Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( v. t.) 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.

(2): ( v. i.) To speak; to express an opinion; to make answer; to reply.

(3): ( imp.) Saw.

(4): ( n.) Trial by sample; assay; sample; specimen; smack.

(5): ( v. t.) A speech; something said; an expression of opinion; a current story; a maxim or proverb.

(6): ( n.) Tried quality; temper; proof.

(7): ( v. t.) 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.

(8): ( n.) Essay; trial; attempt.

(9): ( v. t.) To try; to assay.

(10): ( n.) A kind of silk or satin.

(11): ( v. t.) To repeat; to rehearse; to recite; to pronounce; as, to say a lesson.

(12): ( n.) A delicate kind of serge, or woolen cloth.

(13): ( v. t.) To utter or express in words; to tell; to speak; to declare; as, he said many wise things.