\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

After narrowing its nationwide search to 20 finalist cities, the online retail giant is reportedly in late-stage talks with Crystal City, Va., as well as the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens in New York City. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: ‘You get an Amazon HQ2 and you get an Amazon HQ2!’," 6 Nov. 2018 From navigating fear, failure, and feeling like an impostor to changing careers to branding yourself, Amber offers advice with radical empathy and care, real talk and real experience. Amber Rae, SELF, "Ask Amber Rae: How Do I Stop Feeling Like a Failure?," 5 Nov. 2018 McCullough acknowledged representing some property owners in the talks but declined to name his clients. Daniel Beekman, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s waterfront-overhaul plan meeting resistance from the people who are supposed to foot the $200M bill for it," 26 Oct. 2018 Next up, the students are planning to host a series of talks within the exhibition space over the coming weeks. Tanay Warerkar, Curbed, "Yale School of Architecture exhibition questions gender disparity in the industry," 18 Oct. 2018 There's plenty of talk that robots can act as replacements for warehouse employees. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The Robots Are Coming—To Clean Up Your Disgusting Room," 17 Oct. 2018 Real talk: Losing your virginity can bring you and your bae closer. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "14 Things No One Tells You About Losing Your Virginity," 22 Aug. 2018 The substance of talks will probably focus on familiar issues: election meddling, Syria, Ukraine and arms control. The Economist, "Vladimir Putin’s hopes for his long-awaited meeting with Donald Trump," 14 July 2018 High-level discussions over trade between the world’s two largest economies have stalled since June after a month of talks led by Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. Saleha Mohsin,, "US, China may talk amid escalating trade threats," 13 July 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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