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

Keep scrolling for more

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 The league’s new playoff format, which gives 10 teams in each conference a shot at the playoffs rather than the longstanding norm of eight, has further muddled the marketplace, persuading more teams than usual to keep the status quo. Marc Stein, New York Times, "N.B.A. Trade Deadline: These Players Should Start Packing," 24 Mar. 2021 Peterson opened up about his departure with the Cardinals in the conference. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, "Minnesota Vikings' Patrick Peterson has 'a lot left in the tank' after Arizona Cardinals," 23 Mar. 2021 Coming off three road wins in a row, the Huskies had a home game against St. John’s, winless in the conference to that point. Dom Amore,, "Unpacking the UConn men’s basketball season: Ups, downs, delays and a disappointing finish," 22 Mar. 2021 Still, the Minutemen won 21 games and finished second in the conference in 2019-20., "How UMass became a national power in men’s hockey under Greg Carvel," 2 Apr. 2021 Otherwise, some teams in the same conference would have eight home games, while others would have nine. Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: UCLA advances to Final Four, USC does not," 31 Mar. 2021 The teams with the 7th-10th-best records in each conference will participate in a play-in tournament for the seventh and eighth seeds in the playoffs, and Golden State (22-24) is currently 10th in the West. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "Warriors mailbag: Should Golden State prioritize draft position over playoffs?," 29 Mar. 2021 None of its qualifying players were in the conference’s top 10 in free-throw shooting on the season. Mike Rodak |, al, "Dissecting Alabama’s free-throw shooting debacle in season-ending loss to UCLA," 29 Mar. 2021 Most importantly, only the top six seeds in each conference advance directly to the postseason. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Can Heat simply ‘flip a switch’ for the playoffs?," 28 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of conference

1527, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for conference

see confer

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about conference

Time Traveler for conference

Time Traveler

The first known use of conference was in 1527

See more words from the same year

Statistics for conference

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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
US : 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 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on conference

What made you want to look up conference? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!