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

Franklin is a town where everybody knows everybody and Mark engages the teens in small talk before finally finding the correct key. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' Luke Kennard was groomed to be NBA player — by his dad," 17 June 2018 The son fumbles for the first few seconds to make small talk before dad pleads with his son to get help. Sonja Haller, USA TODAY, "'Beautiful Boy' trailer with Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet will break your heart," 28 June 2018 As our conversation winds down and devolves into the usual end-of-interview small talk, Lum points her body ever so slightly toward the door. Nolan Feeney, GQ, "In Ocean’s 8, Awkwafina Steals Jewels and Scenes," 13 June 2018 My dad is tall and loud and large, and always makes excessive small talk with the workers on the other side of a fast-food intercom or outside the car window pumping our gas. Heather Radke, Longreads, "A Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing With Your Father," 16 June 2018 State television broadcast live from a camera mounted inside the truck cab as Putin threw it into gear and made small talk with a construction worker sitting next to him. Anton Troianovski, Washington Post, "Putin’s bridge to Crimea illustrates his power — and his regime’s weak spot," 15 May 2018 For example, ban small talk from Friday-night dinner: Only complex topics are allowed. Dan Ariely, WSJ, "Why Does Virtual Roulette Seem More Random Than the Real Thing?," 5 July 2018 One camera in the cab of the truck captured his small talk with a construction worker who was along for the ride and broadcast it across state media. Alex Horton, Washington Post, "Putin made a show of crossing the new Crimea bridge. But he was upstaged by a cat.," 16 May 2018 Strangers would approach me all the time on the street, at the grocery store, in line to get coffee just to make small talk. Diana Tsui, The Cut, "I Joined the Cool Blonde Asian Club," 2 Apr. 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

13 Sep 2018

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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


English Language Learners Definition of small talk

: informal, friendly conversation about unimportant subjects

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More from Merriam-Webster on small talk

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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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