small talk


Definition of small talk

: light or casual conversation : chitchat

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of small talk in a Sentence

They made small talk while waiting for the meeting to start. at the corporate get-together we made the obligatory small talk with some people from the home office

Recent Examples on the Web

This sign is not one for superficial small talk or rushing about. Isabelle Kliger, Condé Nast Traveler, "Who You Should Travel With, Based On Your Zodiac Sign," 4 June 2019 After some waving at the celeb guests and some small talk with Terry Crews, the American Idol season one winner took an empty seat. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Kelly Clarkson Both Trolled Herself and Proved She's a Musical Legend at the Billboard Music Awards 2019," 2 May 2019 The Queen politely engaged in small talk, asking Nott about his recent travels. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Helped a Distressed War Doctor by Having Him Pet Her Corgis," 27 Feb. 2019 In 2018, the WSJ Experts wrote about compensation and the gender gap, and making meaningful small talk with employees. WSJ, "Five Top Lessons in Leadership from The Experts in 2018," 3 Jan. 2019 One of the stronger arguments for unconditionally supporting even bad local teams is that doing so fosters a civic union that transcends class, politics, and other divisions, making small talk possible across otherwise unbridgeable divides. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "In Praise of Fair-Weather Fandom," 16 Apr. 2018 Deborah Harrison, left, leader of the editorial writing team for Microsoft’s Personality Chat project, works with diverse colleagues from various creative, technical and artistic backgrounds to write small talk for bots. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "A Crucial Step for Averting AI Disasters," 13 Feb. 2019 Conversation is limited to witless small talk about the weather. Rena Gross, Billboard, "12 Big Revelations From 'Handmaid's Tale' Season 2, Episode 7," 30 May 2018 One couple from Toronto worked hard, in our brief exchange, to make every conversational banality, every scrap of small talk, a vehicle for innuendo. Jenna Sauers, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside a Hamptons Sex Party for the Elite," 29 June 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'small talk.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of small talk

1650, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about small talk

Statistics for small talk

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for small talk

The first known use of small talk was in 1650

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for small talk

small talk


English Language Learners Definition of small talk

: informal, friendly conversation about unimportant subjects

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on small talk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with small talk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for small talk

Spanish Central: Translation of small talk

Comments on small talk

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


characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!