con·​ver·​sa·​tion | \ ˌkän-vər-ˈsā-shən How to pronounce conversation (audio) \

Definition of conversation

1a(1) : oral exchange of sentiments, observations, opinions, or ideas … we had talk enough but no conversation; there was nothing discussed.— Samuel Johnson
(2) : an instance of such exchange : talk a quiet conversation
b : an informal discussion of an issue by representatives of governments, institutions, or groups conversations among the senators
c : an exchange similar to conversation We had a conversation by e-mail.
2 obsolete : conduct, behavior

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Other Words from conversation

conversational \ ˌkän-​vər-​ˈsā-​shnəl How to pronounce conversational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
conversationally adverb

Examples of conversation in a Sentence

Do you remember our conversation about that new movie? We got into a long conversation about his behavior. They were engaged in a lengthy conversation about politics. The topic came up in conversation. They were so deep in conversation that they barely noticed me. He kept trying to engage me in conversation. She's skilled in the art of conversation. an interesting topic of conversation We had a conversation by e-mail.
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Recent Examples on the Web These two conversations have been combined and edited for length and clarity. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "Barbara Ehrenreich Is Not an Optimist, but She Has Hope for the Future," 21 Mar. 2020 Freshman William Mohan could figure into the conversation, too. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football: Five position battles to watch (whenever they get back on the field)," 21 Mar. 2020 Word about the outbreak began occupying conversations in schools, in shops and at home. Kristyn Hickey, The Courier-Journal, "She left Humana for a dream job as a teacher in Spain. The coronavirus changed everything," 21 Mar. 2020 The conversation escalated, and Battilana eventually called the man an expletive in front of her kids. Sarah Feldberg,, "New rules for coronavirus breed conflict in everyday Bay Area life," 21 Mar. 2020 The Sanders campaign showed tentative interest, people familiar with the conversations said. Alexander Burns, New York Times, "How It All Came Apart for Bernie Sanders," 21 Mar. 2020 Every conversation these days turns to the coronavirus. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "How Samasource’s CEO helped turn a non-profit into a fully sustaining for-profit," 20 Mar. 2020 As the conversations move quickly on the Hill, few are certain what might end up in a final package. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "Airline bailout should come with climate strings attached, Democrats and environmentalists say," 20 Mar. 2020 Opportunities and advancements in the music business very often come from these sorts of events where a chance conversation can lead to something beneficial and completely unpredicted. Matt Wake |, al, "Coronavirus impacts Alabama musicians, concert pros," 20 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conversation.' 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 conversation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for conversation

Middle English conversacioun, from Anglo-French conversacion, from Latin conversation-, conversatio, from conversari to associate with, frequentative of convertere to turn around

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Time Traveler for conversation

Time Traveler

The first known use of conversation was in the 14th century

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Statistics for conversation

Last Updated

24 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conversation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for conversation


How to pronounce conversation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of conversation

: an informal talk involving two people or a small group of people : the act of talking in an informal way
: something that is similar to a spoken conversation


con·​ver·​sa·​tion | \ ˌkän-vər-ˈsā-shən How to pronounce conversation (audio) \

Kids Definition of conversation

: a talk between two or more people : the act of talking

Other Words from conversation

conversational \ -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

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