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.”
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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
For Sellers and Muhammad, the dialogue is both spoken and unspoken.—Peter Marks, Washington Post, 26 Jan. 2023 The pope sidestepped a question about how the Vatican’s relationship with Taiwan affects the dialogue.—Nicole Winfield, Baltimore Sun, 25 Jan. 2023 The dialogue in all of these films is invigorating, trenchant, surprising.—Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2023 The film boasts some of the best dialogue of any Hitchcock film and makes substantial use of music.—Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 24 Jan. 2023 The dialogue between her and Cuff is witty and memorable, and there’s incredible attention to detail in Athia’s world and history through the game’s many collectibles.—George Yang, Variety, 23 Jan. 2023 The dialogue was also pretty linear and being driven by the action around us.—Brian Davids, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Jan. 2023 Business, art, but above all fashion: these are the pillars of the dialogue reproduced — with a little editing — below.—Luke Leitch, Vogue, 13 Jan. 2023 For now, that dialogue is more simulated than real.—Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, 13 Jan. 2023
Visitors are encouraged to dialogue with artists whose works-in-progress are on view June 4 through June 25.—Matt Cooperlistings Coordinator, Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2022 How might our politics look different if sincerity claims were an invitation to dialogue rather than a conversation-stopper?—Charles Mccrary, The New Republic, 4 Apr. 2022 Be sure to regularly dialogue with your employees about stress management and burnout, formally through surveys and informally through check-ins.—Naz Beheshti, Forbes, 5 Jan. 2022 In behind-the-scenes footage shared to her Story, El Moussa and Richards lip synched along to dialogue from her Netflix show.—Greta Bjornson, PEOPLE.com, 4 Feb. 2022 There will be time at the end of the program for audience members to dialogue with the performers.—Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 16 Oct. 2021 Typically done after a project is completed, snapshots enable managers to dialogue with employees about their performance while the project is still top of mind.—Lisa Bodell, Forbes, 29 Sep. 2021 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 See More
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.
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