dialogue

noun
di·a·logue | \ ˈdī-ə-ˌlȯg , -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

After another minute or so of dialogue, their summit ended with what could only be assumed as a friendly mutual fist bump. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Torey Lovullo and Yadier Molina meet to clear the air, but Cardinals get the last word," 2 July 2018 Mercury is the planet of communication, and within astrology, its task is to ensure that messages are successfully delivered through verbal dialogue, written correspondence, technology, and transportation. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Your Sign's July 2018 Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 29 June 2018 So a huge amount of that area was redone completely—new situations, new dialogues, new pieces of information for you. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Interview: What went into making Divinity: Original Sin 2’s definitive edition," 21 June 2018 There's a room for title sequences and music, characters, dialogue, and directing, and others for sets, locations, and storyscapes. Bridget Hallinan, Condé Nast Traveler, "New James Bond Museum '007 Elements' Is on Top of a Mountain in Austria," 14 June 2018 So ask her questions that keep a dialogue open, and keep asking them. Lauren Larson, GQ, "Your Gnarliest Questions About Consent, Answered," 31 May 2018 The problem with arguing over semantics is that by the end of what is usually overwrought dialogue, even the most sensible onlookers will walk away thinking, what a colossal waste of time this was for everyone involved. Michael Arceneaux, Essence.com, "OP-ED: Here's Why We Shouldn't Cancel Cynthia Nixon," 25 May 2018 At Marvel, Lee brought jazzy verve with his dialogue, Kirby a promethean cosmic imagination, and Ditko an idiosyncratic visual elan. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Steve Ditko, the co-creator of Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, is dead.," 7 July 2018 Adlerian psychology meets Stoic philosophy in Socratic dialogue. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Here Are VC Marc Andreessen's Favorite Books of the Summer," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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

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

Verb

see dialogue entry 1

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Learn More about dialogue

Statistics for dialogue

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dialogue

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

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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.

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