noun com·mu·ni·ca·tion \ kə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of communication

1 a :a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior
  • the function of pheromones in insect communication
; also :exchange of information
b :personal rapport
  • a lack of communication between old and young persons
2 a :information communicated :information transmitted or conveyed
b :a verbal or written message
  • The captain received an important communication.
3 communications plural
a :a system (as of telephones or computers) for transmitting or exchanging information
  • wireless electronic communications
b :a system of routes for moving troops, supplies, and vehicles
c :personnel engaged in communicating :personnel engaged in transmitting or exchanging information
4 communications plural in form but singular or plural in construction
a :a technique for expressing ideas effectively (as in speech)
b :the technology of the transmission of information (as by print or telecommunication)
5 :an act or instance of transmitting
  • the communication of disease
6 anatomy :a connection between bodily parts
  • Surprisingly little is known about the communication between the alveolar and terminal bronchiolar surfaces…
  • —Richard C. Boucher


play \kə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl\ adjective

Examples of communication in a Sentence

  1. Communication between children in the class was not prohibited but was afforded time slots … —Jonathan KozolHarper'sSeptember 2005
  2. It's not an oral communication. It's body language, eye contact, the grinning, the little signals that go on between people. —Keith Richardsquoted in Rolling Stone14-28 July 1994
  3. If the book is good and even if one is reading to oneself, what is happening is a very special sort of social event, a communication between writer and reader … —Walker Percy"Another Message In The Bottle," in Signposts in a Strange Land1991
  4. This is a secret and confidential communication which I am trusting you to answer on the sly. —Alexander Woollcottletter20 Oct. 1934
  5. Whom else had she to open her heart to? If she did not need counsel, she must need the comfort of communication. —Jane AustenMansfield Park1814
  6. You don't talk to him, he talks at you. You scream and shout at each other, but there's no communication. —Zadie SmithWhite Teeth
  7. He is studying insect communication.

  8. There was a breakdown in communication between members of the group.

  9. television and other means of mass communication

  10. Communications is a growing industry.

  11. He majored in communications in college.

Recent Examples of communication from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'communication.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of communication

COMMUNICATION Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of communication for English Language Learners

  • : the act or process of using words, sounds, signs, or behaviors to express or exchange information or to express your ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc., to someone else

  • : a message that is given to someone : a letter, telephone call, etc.

  • communications : the ways of sending information to people by using technology

COMMUNICATION Defined for Kids


noun com·mu·ni·ca·tion \ kə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of communication for Students

1 :the exchange (as by speech or letter) of information between persons
2 :information exchanged
3 communications plural :a system of sending information
4 communications plural :a system of routes for transportation

Medical Dictionary


noun com·mu·ni·ca·tion \ kə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən \

medical Definition of communication

1 :the act or process of transmitting information (as about ideas, attitudes, emotions, or objective behavior)
  • nonverbal interpersonal communication
  • emotional communication between parent and child
  • —G. S. Blum
a :exchange of information between individuals through a common system of signs, symbols, or behavior
  • pictorial representation is a usable channel of communication between humans and the chimpanzee
  • the function of pheromones in insect communication
b :personal rapport
  • a lack of communication between young and old persons
2 :information communicated
3 :a connection between bodily parts
  • an artificial communication between the esophagus and the stomach

Law Dictionary


noun com·mu·ni·ca·tion \ kə-ˌmyü-nə-ˈkā-shən \

legal Definition of communication

:the expression to another of information or thoughts through speech, writing, or gestures — see also confidential communication, privileged communication

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