in·​ter·​loc·​u·​tor ˌin-tər-ˈlä-kyə-tər How to pronounce interlocutor (audio)
: one who takes part in dialogue or conversation
: a man in the middle of the line in a minstrel show who questions the end men and acts as leader

Did you know?

It may not necessarily be grandiloquence to use the word interlocutor in casual speech, but if your interlocutors—that is, the people with whom you are speaking—are using it, your conversation is likely a formal one. Interlocutor is one of many English words that comes from the Latin verb loqui, “to speak,” including loquacious (“talkative”), eloquent (“capable of fluent or vivid speech”), and grandiloquence (“extravagant or pompous speech”). In interlocutor, loqui was joined to inter- forming a Latin word meaning “to speak between” or “to issue an interlocutory decree.” An interlocutory decree is a judicial decision that isn’t final, or that deals with a point other than the principal subject matter of the dispute.

Examples of interlocutor in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web David Blunkett, home secretary in the Labour government in the early 2000s, said Lewis was his main interlocutor when the company offered him an out-of-court settlement. Isaac Stanley-Becker, Washington Post, 28 June 2024 Oman long has served as an interlocutor between Iran and the West. Jon Gambrell The Associated Press,, 16 June 2024 Notably, the official who was thought to have been Tehran’s chief interlocutor in the Iran-contra deal was the wily speaker of the Iranian parliament, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who became president in 1989 in the aftermath of Khomeini’s death. Ali M. Ansari, Foreign Affairs, 29 May 2024 Leighton has become a hostile interlocutor now, which becomes apparent even before Dawn throws Ryan B up against the glass. Chris Klimek, Vulture, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for interlocutor 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'interlocutor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1514, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of interlocutor was in 1514


Dictionary Entries Near interlocutor

Cite this Entry

“Interlocutor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Jul. 2024.

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