talk down


talked down; talking down; talks down

intransitive verb

: to speak in a condescending or oversimplified fashion

transitive verb

: to disparage or belittle by talking

Example Sentences

a company that prefers to talk up its own products rather than talk down those of its competitors
Recent Examples on the Web Whittingham tried to tone that talk down. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Dec. 2022 Their relationship is wonderfully endearing: Mabel often has to talk down Oliver (Short), an eccentric theater director, from his more extravagant ideas for their detective work, while Oliver schools Charles (Martin), a TV actor whose best years are behind him, on Millennial slang. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, 9 Dec. 2021 People like to talk down to us. Los Angeles Times, 23 May 2021 Commentators would talk down to players for them trying to be themselves and trying to be an individual away from the rink, which had nothing to do with being on the ice at all. Chad Finn,, 31 Dec. 2022 Don’t let anyone talk down to you about quitting in the middle of something, either. Josh Gondelman, SELF, 27 Dec. 2022 Rivian is scheduled to install an EV charger next month, Mueller said, and there’s talk down the road of electric snowmobiles. Neal Rubin, Detroit Free Press, 3 July 2022 Disney doesn’t always have to talk down to its audience. Dani Di Placido, Forbes, 10 June 2022 As in his other books, Mr. Murphy did not talk down to his young readers or sugarcoat. New York Times, 8 June 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'talk down.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1844, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of talk down was in 1844

Dictionary Entries Near talk down

Cite this Entry

“Talk down.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

talk down

: to speak in an overly simple manner as if to a person who does not know much
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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