small talk

noun

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

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 The politics of Informer aren't subtle, and much here is hews to formula, especially Powley's character Holly, who is one of those ostensibly brilliant detectives who can't make small talk. Taylor Antrim, Vogue, "Three New Crime Shows To Get Hooked on Now," 12 Jan. 2019 Local old-timers frequent the booths here so expect a bit of attitude, but making small talk should quickly fix that. Jenna Scatena, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best BBQ in Austin," 27 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for small talk

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for small talk

The first known use of small talk was in 1650

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More Definitions for small talk

small talk

noun

English Language Learners Definition of small talk

: informal, friendly conversation about unimportant subjects

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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

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