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 first Evil Dead is kind of a melodrama, a lot of laughs come out of the excessive effects and hokey dialogue, and bad acting. Clark Collis, EW.com, 12 July 2021 Aso later said any contingency over Taiwan should be resolved through dialogue when asked about the remarks, which drew a rebuke from Beijing. Reuters, CNN, 12 July 2021 And the best way to start is to encourage dialogue and conversation about their own experiences, background and personal life histories. Rama Hart, Star Tribune, 11 July 2021 The dialogue lopes freely between English and Spanish. Sergio Burstein, Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2021 Create open and predictable channels of ideas, dialogue and feedback from your teams. Devapriya Khanna, Forbes, 5 July 2021 The smells of frying plantains, baking challah bread and roasting brisket mingled with the sounds of Willy Chirino’s salsa hits and telenovela actors’ operatic dialogue. Author: Linda Robertson, Anchorage Daily News, 4 July 2021 The smells of frying plantains, baking challah bread and roasting brisket mingled with the sounds of Willy Chirino’s salsa hits and telenovela actors’ operatic dialogue. Linda Robertson, sun-sentinel.com, 4 July 2021 Scott said education and dialogue about these atrocities are just the first steps. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 3 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Who knows, had Korach and his group agreed to seriously dialogue with Moses, Moses might have calmed them down. Rabbi Avi Weiss, sun-sentinel.com, 7 June 2021 Korach’s cohorts also refused to dialogue with Moses (16:12). Rabbi Avi Weiss, sun-sentinel.com, 7 June 2021 Across the border in Mali, the country’s transitional government has signaled openness to dialogue with insurgents. Shola Lawal, The Christian Science Monitor, 29 Apr. 2021 Hottle, a newcomer child star and a deaf actress, portrays Jia, a young girl in Godzilla vs. Kong who can dialogue with the king of the apes through sign language. Nick Romano, EW.com, 25 Mar. 2021 In a 2009 survey, the usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary reviewed the following sentence: The department was remiss in not trying to dialogue with representatives of the community before hiring new officers. Jason Kehe, Wired, 8 July 2020 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, 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, 18 Aug. 2019 But one of the leaders insists that the movement is not opposed to dialogue in principle. The Economist, 26 Apr. 2018

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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Learn More About dialogue

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

17 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dialogue.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dialogue. Accessed 26 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for dialogue

dialogue

noun

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on dialogue

Nglish: Translation of dialogue for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dialogue for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dialogue

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