col·​lo·​qui·​um kə-ˈlō-kwē-əm How to pronounce colloquium (audio)
plural colloquiums or colloquia kə-ˈlō-kwē-ə How to pronounce colloquium (audio)
: a usually academic meeting at which specialists deliver addresses on a topic or on related topics and then answer questions relating to them
… a nine-session scholar-led colloquium to introduce teachers to literary texts by and about minorities …Bruce Fraser

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A colloquy is a conversation, and especially an important, high-level discussion. Colloquy and colloquium once meant the same thing, though today colloquium always refers to a conference. Because of its old "conversation" meaning, however, a colloquium is a type of conference with important question-and-answer periods.

Examples of colloquium in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Following the colloquium, the AHA will offer a limited-capacity listening tour of the Wallace House in Shelby County. Shauna Stuart |, al, 8 Sep. 2023 Lord began by outlining plans for an online colloquium series, which would be open to the public, and which would try to involve people in their research on topics ranging from racial scapegoating in previous pandemics to voting during national crises. Andrew Dickson, The New Yorker, 9 Dec. 2020 In this colloquium, Teddy Tzanetos, JPL’s assembly, test, operations lead and ground support designer will present the project’s inception, its operational goals and capabilities, and what its success may mean for space exploration. IEEE Spectrum, 23 Jan. 2023 The first lecture was an overview at a colloquium level; i.e. meant for physicists, but not necessarily with any knowledge of cosmology. Sean Carroll, Discover Magazine, 12 Oct. 2011 Anand Kumar Sharma writes to urge scientists not to grill their junior colleagues at conferences: The most interesting part of a scientific seminar, colloquium or conference for me is the question and answer session. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 9 Feb. 2018 Guillermo del Toro and Thierry Fremaux on Wednesday resumed their colloquium on the future of cinema with leading filmmakers. Patrick Frater, Variety, 25 May 2022 At the Princeton colloquium, in Stevenson Hall, Abbey sat in a large upholstered armchair, his long legs stretched out, his look dark and handsome, his cowboy boots showing wear. John McPhee, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 In addition to Cage, cut-up writer William Burroughs, experimental playwright Richard Foreman and underground filmmaker Jack Smith all attended the colloquium. Los Angeles Times, 11 Nov. 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'colloquium.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin, colloquy

First Known Use

1844, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of colloquium was in 1844

Dictionary Entries Near colloquium

Cite this Entry

“Colloquium.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition


col·​lo·​qui·​um kə-ˈlō-kwē-əm How to pronounce colloquium (audio)
: the part of a complaint for defamation in which the plaintiff avers that the defamatory remarks related to him or her

Latin, talk, discussion, from colloqui to converse

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