con·​fer·​ence | \ ˈkän-f(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce conference (audio) , -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 How to pronounce conference (audio) \ : 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

Other Words from conference

conferential \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈren(t)-​shəl How to pronounce conference (audio) \ 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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web Members created a sixth conference committee shortly before 3 p.m. to reconcile differences on a bill that would tighten the state’s firearms laws in the wake of a Supreme Court decision expanding gun rights across the country. Matt Stout,, 1 Aug. 2022 The state’s House of Delegates refused to concur with the Senate’s amendments to the bill and called for a conference committee to resolve the differences between the two chambers late Friday evening. Katie Shepherd, Washington Post, 30 July 2022 If Oregon women’s basketball wins the Pac-12 regular season title or conference tournament, both Berry and Nared Hairston receive a $5,000 bonus while second-place finishes earn them $2,000 bonuses. James Crepea | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 30 July 2022 Kliavkoff Have conference relationships been damaged? Michelle Gardner, The Arizona Republic, 30 July 2022 The Pac-12 already has a Las Vegas presence with its football championship game and conference basketball tournaments, so why add a member school? Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 July 2022 The company has 15 business days from receipt of its citations and penalties to comply, request an informal conference with OSHA’s area director, or contest the findings before the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. Ricardo Torres, Journal Sentinel, 29 July 2022 Snyder agreed to speak to the committee via video conference from abroad. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, 29 July 2022 For middle school athletics, penalties will lie with the school, school district, conference or association of schools. The Courier-Journal, 29 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of conference

1527, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for conference

borrowed from Middle French and Medieval Latin; Middle French conference, borrowed from Medieval Latin conferentia "contribution, discussion," noun derivative from conferent-, conferens, present participle of conferre "to bring or take, convey, bring together" — more at confer

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Time Traveler for conference

Time Traveler

The first known use of conference was in 1527

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Dictionary Entries Near conference



conference call

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Statistics for conference

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Conference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for conference


con·​fer·​ence | \ ˈkän-fə-rəns How to pronounce conference (audio) , -frəns \

Kids Definition of conference

: a meeting for discussion or exchange of opinions


con·​fer·​ence | \ ˈkän-frəns, -fə-rəns How to pronounce conference (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on conference

Nglish: Translation of conference for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conference for Arabic Speakers


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