\ˈtȯk \
talked; talking; talks

Definition of talk 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to express or exchange ideas by means of spoken words

b : to convey information or communicate in any way (as with signs or sounds) can make a trumpet talk make the computer talk to the printer

2 : to use speech : speak

3a : to speak idly : prate

b : gossip

c : to reveal secret or confidential information

4 : to give a talk : lecture


1 : to deliver or express in speech : utter

2 : to make the subject of conversation or discourse : discuss talk business

3 : to influence, affect, or cause by talking talked them into going

4 : to use (a language) for conversing or communicating : speak

talk back

: to answer impertinently

talk sense

: to voice rational, logical, or sensible thoughts

talk through one's hat

: to voice irrational, illogical, or erroneous ideas

talk turkey

: to speak frankly or bluntly



Definition of talk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of talking : speech

2 : a way of speaking : language

3 : pointless or fruitless discussion : verbiage

4 : a formal discussion, negotiation, or exchange of views often used in plural

5a : mention, report

b : rumor, gossip

6 : the topic of interested comment, conversation, or gossip it's the talk of the town

7a : address, lecture

b : written analysis or discussion presented in an informal or conversational manner

8 : communicative sounds or signs resembling or functioning as talk bird talk

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Other Words from talk


talker noun

Examples of talk in a Sentence


She never talks at the meetings. He did most of the talking during dinner. He loves to hear himself talk. I think she's talking a lot of nonsense. I can't talk right now. I'm running late. They were talking in Spanish. We talked on the phone until midnight. Both sides in the dispute are now willing to talk. They are in the conference room talking business. She had laryngitis and couldn't talk.


the noted author's talk on the state of the modern novel what good will all this talk do when we need to take action now?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Carson and Thom sat down with ED to talk design, friendship, and the quest to make America chic again. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "The Original 'Queer Eye' Stars Reunite For TV's Most Stylish Home Makeover Show," 19 Oct. 2018 Unlike upscale white Democrats, people in NY-15 do not often talk about themselves as liberals (used here in the American sense, which implies left-wing, rather than in the classical sense, which implies an enthusiasm for limited government). The Economist, "The L wordWho is a Democrat?," 12 July 2018 No one at the store is talking, but employees referred WCTV to the company's corporate offices in Katy, Texas. CBS News, "Sporting goods store chain fires manager NRA calls "hero"," 12 July 2018 Trump has talked, often vaguely, about doing something about drug prices since the campaign. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump got Pfizer to reverse its drug price hikes — but he gave up some big concessions," 11 July 2018 STEVEN TAYLOR Everyone will be talking about Sorry to Bother You, the new dystopian drama about one man’s success and its dire consequences. Jen Ortiz, Marie Claire, "Tessa Thompson Talks "Sorry to Bother You," Her New Sci-Fi Comedy Flick," 10 July 2018 Schellenger was taken to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 11:21 p.m. Ryan said the other passenger in the car with Schellenger left before police arrived and investigators want to talk to him., "Philadelphia developer stabbed to death near Rittenhouse Square," 13 July 2018 Eight years after Google first showed its self-driving car to The New York Times, the autonomous vehicle industry is still trying to figure out how to talk about itself. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "Home From the Honeymoon, the Self-Driving Car Industry Faces Reality," 13 July 2018 College football and the NFL are different brands of football, but recently pro coaches are opening up to utilizing more college concepts—just look at the number of people who want to talk to Lincoln Riley. Andy Staples,, "Like It or Not, College Football Is Influencing the NFL," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Among all the talk of black bloods and gray skins and realms, there’s also the threat of a bizarre, surprise epidemic hovering over heroine Talon (Jessica Green)., "All The Best Post-Apocalyptic TV Shows You Can Watch," 11 July 2018 The talk of him being the heir to Zlatan Ibrahimović might have seemed to some like a bit much. Jonathan Tannenwald,, "World Cup schedule, TV and streaming info: England-Sweden, Russia-Croatia," 6 July 2018 By 1927, there was conversation about a capital campaign, and even talk of a medical school. Eliza Mcgraw, Smithsonian, "Florence Sabin Pioneered Her Way in Medical Science, Then Made Sure Other Women Could Do the Same," 6 July 2018 After talk of potential leads from big stars to total unknowns, Aladdin finally found its cast. Sydney Odman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Aladdin': Everything to Know About the Live-Action Remake of the Disney Classic," 5 July 2018 Rising seed prices, whacky weather patterns and new talk of tariffs create financial challenges and uncertainty. Emily Hopkins,, "Your produce is less healthy than it was 70 years ago. These farmers might change that," 4 July 2018 Read more: But Marchionne was forceful during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January in pushing back against specific talk of selling off the company — with most focus on the highly valuable Jeep brand — in pieces. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "How likely is a Fiat Chrysler/Hyundai merger?," 2 July 2018 The White House has previously denied talk of impending staff shake-ups that later came to pass. CBS News, "Trump says "that I don't know" when asked if John Kelly is leaving," 29 June 2018 Teams who have contacted the Spurs in recent days seeking to bid for Kawhi Leonard have found the Spurs willing to engage in talks of trading the two-time All-Star, league sources say. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "New plan: Spurs now fielding calls on Kawhi," 28 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word '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 talk


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for talk


Middle English; akin to Old English talu tale

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Statistics for talk

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for talk

The first known use of talk was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for talk



English Language Learners Definition of talk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to say words in order to express your thoughts, feelings, opinions, etc., to someone

: to have a conversation or discussion with someone

: to have a conversation about (something)



English Language Learners Definition of talk (Entry 2 of 2)

: an occurrence in which one person talks about something with another person : a conversation or discussion

: the act of talking formally about something before a group of people : a speech or lecture

: a formal discussion between two or more groups that are trying to reach an agreement about something


\ˈtȯk \
talked; talking

Kids Definition of talk

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to express in speech : speak You're talking too fast.

2 : to speak about : discuss They're talking business.

3 : to cause or influence with words I talked them into agreeing.

4 : to use a certain language They were talking Spanish.

5 : to exchange ideas by means of spoken words : converse Let's sit and talk.

6 : to pass on information other than by speaking Can you talk with your hands?

7 : gossip entry 2 If you act that way, people will talk.

8 : to reveal secret information Officials forced the spy to talk.

talk over

: discuss sense 2 We need to talk over our vacation plans.

Other Words from talk

talker noun



Kids Definition of talk (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or an instance of speaking with someone We had a talk.

2 : a way of speaking : language

4 : rumor entry 1 Has there been talk of war?

5 : the topic of comment or gossip The President's visit is the talk of the town.

6 : an informal address The coach gave us a talk to raise our spirits.

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Comments on talk

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


full of whispering sounds

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