conversant was our Word of the Day on 10/19/2011. Hear the podcast!
Examples of conversant in a sentence
She's conversant in several languages.
a world traveler who is highly conversant with the customs of foreign cultures
Did You Know?
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."
Origin and Etymology of conversant
First Known Use: 14th century
CONVERSANT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of conversant for English Language Learners
: able to talk in a foreign language
Seen and Heard
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