dialogue

noun
di·​a·​logue | \ ˈdī-ə-ˌlȯg How to pronounce dialogue (audio) , -ˌläg \
variants: or less commonly dialog

Definition of dialogue

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a written composition in which two or more characters are represented as conversing
2a : a conversation between two or more persons also : a similar exchange between a person and something else (such as a computer)
b : an exchange of ideas and opinions organized a series of dialogues on human rights
c : a discussion between representatives of parties to a conflict that is aimed at resolution a constructive dialogue between loggers and environmentalists
3 : the conversational element of literary or dramatic composition very little dialogue in this film writes realistic dialogue
4 : a musical composition for two or more parts suggestive of a conversation

dialogue

verb
dialogued; dialoguing

Definition of dialogue (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to express in dialogue … and dialogued for him what he would say …— Shakespeare

intransitive verb

: to take part in a dialogue managers dialoguing with employees

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Dialectic: Logic Through Conversation

Dialectic is a term used in philosophy, and the fact that it is closely connected to the ideas of Socrates and Plato is completely logical—even from an etymological point of view. Plato’s famous dialogues frequently presented Socrates playing a leading role, and dialogue comes from the Greek roots dia- (“through” or “across”) and -logue (“discourse” or “talk”). Dialect and dialectic come from dialecktos (“conversation” or “dialect”) and ultimately back to the Greek word dialegesthai, meaning “to converse.”

Conversation or dialogue was indeed at the heart of the “Socratic method,” through which Socrates would ask probing questions which cumulatively revealed his students’ unsupported assumptions and misconceptions. The goal, according to the definition in our Unabridged Dictionary, was to “elicit a clear and consistent expression of something supposed to be implicitly known by all rational beings.”

Other philosophers had specific uses of the term dialectic, including Aristotelianism, Stoicism, Kantianism, Hegelianism, and Marxism. Asking a series of questions was considered by Socrates a method of “giving birth” to the truth, and a related word, maieutic, defined as “relating to or resembling the Socratic method of eliciting new ideas from another,” comes from the Greek word meaning “of midwifery.”

Examples of dialogue in a Sentence

Noun He is an expert at writing dialogue. There's very little dialogue in the film. The best part of the book is the clever dialogue. Students were asked to read dialogues from the play. The two sides involved in the labor dispute are trying to establish a dialogue. The two parties have been in constant dialogue with each other.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Avon Lake High School football team will be participating in the Bridges project, which is designed to bring together racially diverse teams for dialogue. Linda Gandee, cleveland, "Avon Lake High School football team to participate in Bridges project," 29 June 2020 In preaching the need for this open dialogue, athletics departments are taking aim at the underlying culture of football, where injuries are often undisclosed, under-reported or ignored due to an ethos that can value toughness and sacrifice. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "Amid coronavirus threat, colleges take aim at football culture of hiding injuries, illness," 25 June 2020 McKelligan said the group wants a dialogue with Gov. Brown. oregonlive, "Let Them Play group holds rally in Portland park, pushing for return of youth sports," 25 June 2020 According to Deadline, the show plans to re-record Molly's dialogue with a Black actor for season 2. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Jenny Slate & Kristen Bell Will No Longer Voice Black Animated Characters," 25 June 2020 The Swedish capital, Stockholm, established a psychiatric emergency response unit to respond to crisis calls from people in mental health distress, which patients say has created a safe environment and space for dialogue. Emma Reynolds, CNN, "Calls are growing to defund police in the US. Here are some lessons from overseas," 24 June 2020 The Spurs have joined other NBA teams to amplify black athletes’ voices and positively engage in the national dialogue that developed around the Black Lives Matter movement. ExpressNews.com, "Time to Listen: Area athletes, coaches speak out about racism, social injustice," 22 June 2020 Pyongyang has ignored his calls for dialogue and chastised him for being meddlesome in his attempts to serve as a bridge between Kim Jong Un and Trump. Fortune, "North Korea blows up liaison office with South Korea in most serious provocation in years," 16 June 2020 Senior Herb Jones was among those participating in the dialogue. Mike Rodak | Mrodak@al.com, al, "Amid protests, Wendell Hudson delivers message to Alabama basketball players," 15 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The strategy of Republican and Democratic Commanders in Chief alike has been to reduce tensions through an openness to dialogue rather than threats to further confrontation. John Walcott, Time, "Pulled Into Yet Another Political Battle, the Pentagon Finally Pushes Back Against Trump," 3 June 2020 Perspective sharing will open the gateway to further dialogue that’s based on a true understanding of your desires and your family’s desires. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, "The wedding plan: Perspective sharing," 18 Aug. 2019 But one of the leaders insists that the movement is not opposed to dialogue in principle. The Economist, "The violent end of Daniel Ortega’s decade of quiet," 26 Apr. 2018 Despite their criticisms, both Tillerson and defense officials have stressed the importance of finding a path to dialogue with Moscow. Karen Deyoung, Washington Post, "Putin speech adds to freeze in U.S.-Russia relations," 1 Mar. 2018 Swiss Education While South Korea currently bans tourists from traveling north, the thaw over the Olympics brings the countries closer to dialogue on restoring lucrative cross-border tours that once brought Kim’s regime millions of dollars a year. Bloomberg.com, "Kim Jong Un’s Luxury Ski Resort Steals Olympic Spotlight," 30 Jan. 2018 Maybe the past and present aren’t mutually exclusive, this exhibition suggests, but can dialogue with and inform one another. OregonLive.com, "Tom Cramer exhibit shows there's plenty new under the sun (review)," 29 Oct. 2017 Knowles sisters Beyoncé and Solange have released solo albums that dialogue with each other obliquely. Carl Wilson, Slate Magazine, "On Haim’s New Album Something to Tell You, the Band of Sisters Is Better Than Ever," 10 July 2017

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

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1566, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for dialogue

Noun and Verb

Middle English dialoge, from Anglo-French dialogue, from Latin dialogus, from Greek dialogos, from dialegesthai to converse, from dia- + legein to speak — more at legend

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Time Traveler for dialogue

Time Traveler

The first known use of dialogue was in the 13th century

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Statistics for dialogue

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dialogue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dialogue. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for dialogue

dialogue

noun
How to pronounce dialogue (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dialogue

: the things that are said by the characters in a story, movie, play, etc.
: a discussion or series of discussions that two groups or countries have in order to end a disagreement
: a conversation between two or more people

dialogue

noun
di·​a·​logue
variants: also dialog \ ˈdī-​ə-​ˌlȯg \

Kids Definition of dialogue

1 : conversation given in a written story or a play
2 : a conversation between two or more people or groups The dialogue helped avoid a fight.

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Comments on dialogue

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