in·​ter·​loc·​u·​tor | \ ˌin-tər-ˈlä-kyə-tər How to pronounce interlocutor (audio) \

Definition of interlocutor

1 : one who takes part in dialogue or conversation
2 : a man in the middle of the line in a minstrel show who questions the end men and acts as leader

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Did You Know?

Interlocutor derives from the Latin interloqui, meaning "to speak between" or "to issue an interlocutory decree." (An interlocutory decree is a court judgment that comes in the middle of a case and is not decisive.) Interloqui, in turn, ultimately comes from the words inter-, "between," and loqui, "to speak." Some other words that English borrowed from loqui are loquacious ("talkative"), circumlocution (essentially, "talking around a subject"), ventriloquism ("talking in such a way that one's voice seems to come from someone or something else"), eloquent ("capable of fluent or vivid speech"), and grandiloquence ("extravagant or pompous speech").

Examples of interlocutor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mankiewicz’s most devoted interlocutor — a fellow transplant from New York and a first-class wit in her own right — is Marion Davies, the actress who is also Hearst’s longtime romantic partner. New York Times, "‘Mank’ Review: A Rosebud by Any Other Name," 3 Dec. 2020 When asked directly about Trump’s Wednesday comments, McEnany was dismissive of the president’s interlocutor. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "'Ridiculous': White House and Trump allies push back on 'peaceful transfer' controversy," 25 Sep. 2020 Videgaray served as finance minister and then foreign minister, becoming a crucial interlocutor with the Trump administration. Washington Post, "Former aide ties Mexican ex-president Peña Nieto to millions in bribes," 12 Aug. 2020 The interlocutor must be able to reciprocate and engage. Victoria Marshall, National Review, "On Listening and the Black Lives Matter Movement," 5 Sep. 2020 Other experts have also pointed toward Oman, which was quick to laud the agreement and in years past has played as interlocutor between Israel and Arab states. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "After historic Israel-UAE flight, other Muslim-majority countries considering to follow suit," 3 Sep. 2020 Oman for years has served as a key interlocutor between Iran and the West. Jon Gambrell, Star Tribune, "Pompeo ends Mideast trip with visit to Oman's new sultan," 27 Aug. 2020 In the past Oman has played the role of interlocutor between Israel and the Arab world. The Economist, "Who’s next? The Arab countries most likely to recognise Israel," 22 Aug. 2020 Oman remains a key interlocutor between the West and Iran, as well as Yemen's Houthi rebels, assisting in getting prisoners released in the past. Jon Gambrell, Star Tribune, "In a first, Oman's sultan names foreign, finance ministers," 18 Aug. 2020

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

1514, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for interlocutor

Latin interloqui to speak between, issue an interlocutory decree, from inter- + loqui to speak

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Time Traveler for interlocutor

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The first known use of interlocutor was in 1514

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Last Updated

12 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Interlocutor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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How to pronounce interlocutor (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of interlocutor

formal : a person who is having a conversation with you

More from Merriam-Webster on interlocutor

Britannica English: Translation of interlocutor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about interlocutor

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