con·​fer·​ence | \ˈkän-f(ə-)rən(t)s, -fərn(t)s, for sense 2 usually kən-ˈfər-ən(t)s\

Definition of conference 

1a : a meeting of two or more persons for discussing matters of common concern The president is in conference with his advisers.

b : a usually formal interchange of views : consultation a conference on climate change

c : a meeting of members of the two branches of a legislature to adjust differences

d : caucus

2 or less commonly conferrence \ kən-​ˈfər-​ən(t)s \ : bestowal, conferment the conference of academic degrees

3a : a representative assembly or administrative organization of a religious denomination

b : a territorial division of a religious denomination

4 : an association of athletic teams a football conference

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Other Words from conference

conferential \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈren(t)-​shəl \ adjective

Examples of conference in a Sentence

The organization held its annual conference in New York this year. national conferences on women's health a conference of foreign ministers Our boss called a conference to discuss the new changes. He spent an hour in conference with the president. the champions of the American Football Conference
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Recent Examples on the Web

The amendment will be discussed during a House-Senate conference this month. Tylisa C. Johnson,, "74 sailors died during a Vietnam warfare exercise, but their names aren't on D.C. memorial," 9 July 2018 Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann speaks during an economics conference in Linz, Austria, on July 5. Tom Fairless, WSJ, "Jockeying Begins to Take European Central Bank’s Reins From Draghi," 7 July 2018 The motion will be discussed with U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw and attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union during a telephonic status conference at noon Friday. Kristina Davis,, "U.S. says it needs more time to reunite families separated at border," 6 July 2018 Representatives of the program will also hold office hours in Las Vegas on Oct. 2, which is also the first day of InsurTech Connect, an international conference on insurance technology being held at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Rebecca Lurye,, "With Worldwide Tour, Hartford Widens Search For InsurTech Talent," 3 July 2018 Sitting in a conference room in this mid-Peninsula town just up the road from the heart of Silicon Valley, CEO Neville Boston explained that, while the Rplate is very new on California roads, it's been in the works for about a decade. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Would you pay $700, plus a monthly fee, for a digital license plate?," 2 July 2018 That’s one takeaway from a discussion of social impact and design during the Fortune CEO Initiative conference in San Francisco on Tuesday. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "How Weight Watchers and Ford Are 'Redesigning' Their Businesses," 27 June 2018 Scott visited the island this week, speaking about public-private partnerships at an economic conference. Maria Elena Vizcaino,, "Puerto Ricans at risk of homelessness demand Gov. Rick Scott's help," 22 June 2018 The four gathered Tuesday in Washington as part of an international conference focusing on the management of border-security agencies. Rafael Carranza, azcentral, "Former border-security chiefs are split over separating immigrant children from families," 20 June 2018

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

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First Known Use of conference

1527, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for conference

see confer

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Statistics for conference

Last Updated

7 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for conference

The first known use of conference was in 1527

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More Definitions for conference



English Language Learners Definition of conference

: a formal meeting in which many people gather in order to talk about ideas or problems related to a particular topic (such as medicine or business) usually for several days

: a formal meeting in which a small number of people talk about something

: a group of sports teams that play against each other and that are part of a larger league of teams


con·​fer·​ence | \ˈkän-fə-rəns, -frəns\

Kids Definition of conference

: a meeting for discussion or exchange of opinions


con·​fer·​ence | \ˈkän-frəns, -fə-rəns \

Legal Definition of conference 

1 : a meeting for consultation, deliberation, discussion, or interchange of opinions a conference on environmental law — see also judicial conference, pretrial conference

2 : a meeting of members of the two branches of a legislature especially to adjust differences in the provisions of a bill passed in different forms by the two branches also : conference committee

3 : caucus

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