small talk


Definition of small talk

: light or casual conversation : chitchat

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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 People holding bunches of blue and silver balloons handed them out as Webb’s relatives made small talk. Caroline Tien, San Antonio Express-News, 30 Sep. 2021 Levine, masked, grabbed a bottle of water and made small talk in Arabic with a guy working the register–Levine calls himself a language buff—then walked back out into the afternoon. Eric Lach, The New Yorker, 24 July 2021 Middleton also sat down for a chat with the athletes, and made obligatory COVID small talk. Iris Goldsztajn, Marie Claire, 24 Sep. 2021 Something about observing this woman has triggered uncomfortable feelings in Leda, who goes out of her way to avoid small talk, snapping briskly at strangers and wrapping her terse replies in a kind of combative barbed wire. Peter Debruge, Variety, 3 Sep. 2021 Open up slowly and desire deeper conversations over small talk. Julia Wuench, Forbes, 2 Sep. 2021 This is true of all forms of communication, from small talk about sports, weather and groovy new Netflix shows to highfalutin philosophy, science and mathematics. John Horgan, Scientific American, 7 Aug. 2021 But as many of us prepare to head back to the office this fall, water cooler small talk will also inevitably return. NBC News, 12 July 2021 Fontana trades in clues and guesses, and in those overwhelming questions which hide in the cracks of small talk. Anthony Lan, The New Yorker, 3 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of small talk

1650, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for small talk

Time Traveler

The first known use of small talk was in 1650

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Dictionary Entries Near small talk


small talk

small tiger lily

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Statistics for small talk

Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Small talk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for small talk

small talk


English Language Learners Definition of small talk

: informal, friendly conversation about unimportant subjects


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