noun di·a·logue \ˈdī-ə-ˌlȯg, -ˌläg\
variants: or less commonly


Definition of dialogue

  1. 1 :  a written composition in which two or more characters are represented as conversing

  2. 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 rightsc :  a discussion between representatives of parties to a conflict that is aimed at resolution a constructive dialogue between loggers and environmentalists

  3. 3 :  the conversational element of literary or dramatic composition very little dialogue in this film writes realistic dialogue

  4. 4 :  a musical composition for two or more parts suggestive of a conversation

Examples of dialogue in a sentence

  1. He is an expert at writing dialogue.

  2. There's very little dialogue in the film.

  3. The best part of the book is the clever dialogue.

  4. Students were asked to read dialogues from the play.

  5. The two sides involved in the labor dispute are trying to establish a dialogue.

  6. The two parties have been in constant dialogue with each other.

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.”

Origin and Etymology of dialogue

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

First Known Use: 13th century



verb di·a·logue

Definition of dialogue




  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to express in dialogue … and dialogued for him what he would say … — Shakespeare

  3. intransitive verb
  4. :  to take part in a dialogue managers dialoguing with employees

Origin and Etymology of dialogue

see 1dialogue

First Known Use: 1566

DIALOGUE Defined for English Language Learners



noun di·a·logue \ˈdī-ə-ˌlȯg, -ˌläg\

Definition of dialogue for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids


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



Definition of dialogue for Students

  1. 1 :  conversation given in a written story or a play

  2. 2 :  a conversation between two or more people or groups The dialogue helped avoid a fight.

Seen and Heard

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


to criticize severely

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