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 In our conversation, one word kept coming up: healing, the crux of Tap Pilam’s vision. Elaine Ayala,, "If Tap Pilam is building a nation, it’s just getting started," 11 Jan. 2020 For more than 20 years, our Thursday Q&A has been an online conversation about the best way to make your home comfortable, stylish and fun. The Washington Post, "Q&A: Trisha Roy of Barn & Willow on Window Treatments," 11 Jan. 2020 Overhearing their conversation about segregation was his clarinetist, Joe Muranyi, Hungarian American, standing around, trying not to look awkward. Nicholas Frankovich, National Review, "Satchmo’s Smile," 9 Jan. 2020 But photos can’t show the subtle flow of emotions across people’s faces, and recordings don’t allow the give and take of real conversation. Kelly Servick, Science | AAAS, "MRI scanners built for two push limits of neuroimaging," 9 Jan. 2020 Is a hacker watching my child's bedroom through my Ring camera?Is my Amazon Echo listening to my conversations? Alison Steinbach, azcentral, "What to expect in 2020? We asked the experts for predictions, and they gave us 5," 31 Dec. 2019 The past 12 months, however, were transformative for reasons beyond the music: long-overdue conversations regarding the unjust structural and social issues became unavoidable. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 25 Best K-pop Songs of 2019: Critics' Picks," 29 Dec. 2019 Senior managers in the logistics division at the time regarded the death as a just another traffic accident, according to three people familiar with their conversations. James Bandler, ProPublica, "Inside Documents Show How Amazon Chose Speed Over Safety in Building Its Delivery Network," 28 Dec. 2019 Even Thursday on the hotel shuttle over from the airport, conversation centered more on what Disney attractions to get to than how the Irish might attack the tricky 3-3-5 defensive alignment of Iowa State. Tom Noie, Indianapolis Star, "Noie: Buzz about and around No. 14 Notre Dame absent from Camping World Bowl," 27 Dec. 2019

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

14 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Conversation.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 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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Comments on conversation

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


to insert between existing elements

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