Definition of conversant
- conversant with modern history
- is conversant with the operating system of the computer
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She's conversant in several languages.
a world traveler who is highly conversant with the customs of foreign cultures
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The adjectives "conversant" and "conversational" are related; both are descendants of Latin conversari, meaning "to associate with." The earliest English meaning of "conversant" in the 1300s was simply "having familiar association." One way to associate with others is to have a conversation with them - in other words, to talk. For a short time in the 19th century "conversant" could mean "relating to or suggesting conversation," but for the most part that meaning stayed with "conversational" while "conversant" went in a different direction. Today, "conversant" is sometimes used, especially in the United States, with the meaning "able to talk in a foreign language," as in "she is conversant in several languages," but it is more often associated with knowledge or familiarity, as in "conversant with the issues."
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