\ ˈtȯk How to pronounce talk (audio) \
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
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

Verb 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. Noun 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 This was decades ago when less was known about mental illness and people certainly didn’t talk about it. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "Their children took their own lives. Today, they lead mental health efforts in Michigan," 8 May 2021 The two didn’t talk until after Vaughns had made his decision, when Pittman Jr. reached out to welcome his old teammate to his new team. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Undrafted, hyper-productive Colts WR Tyler Vaughns hell-bent on proving NFL missed on him," 8 May 2021 Can’t talk about the Blazers without mentioning that defense. oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers ‘playing together,’ eyeing 5th in West as they enter season’s final stretch," 7 May 2021 This column could easily have been about those Clippers, who — talk about a surreal stat — beat the Lakers for the 28th time in 35 games since 2012. Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Lakers need Anthony Davis more than ever, but is he capable?," 7 May 2021 There is no official start date for ad commitments to be made, and ad buyers talk with sellers year-round, but many negotiations start in earnest after programmers showcase their fall offerings in the spring. Alexandra Bruell, WSJ, "Spring TV Ad-Sales Season Expected to Show Rebound From 2020, More Spending on Streaming," 7 May 2021 Winter Olympic do not want to talk about the Olympics. Fortune, "Debris from China’s 21-ton rocket is crashing toward Earth—but no one knows where it will land," 6 May 2021 Below, 13 members of Forbes Business Council talk about those perks that are likely to make a difference in employee retention and morale. Expert Panel®, Forbes, "13 Perks To Improve Employee Morale And Retention," 6 May 2021 Afterward, community leaders Carolyn Chou (Asian American Resource Workshop) and Souvanna Pouv (Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell) will talk about how those needs can be met to create lasting change., "How to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month," 6 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That will continue to be the talk during the summer months. Vincent Frank, Forbes, "Predicting San Francisco 49ers’ Roster Following 2021 NFL Draft," 8 May 2021 More than 30 years passed between that talk and the day in August 2017 when Melvin walked into a back room at then-AT&T Park to see Mays waiting to congratulate him. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, "Forever a fan: What Willie Mays means to Bay Area native Bob Melvin," 6 May 2021 There was talk of adding another week between the Derby and the Preakness to allow horses more time to recover and to encourage connections to take their best shot in Baltimore. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Tight turnaround prompts Louisville trainer Cox to skip Preakness," 6 May 2021 In the Shetland Islands, some voters feel as remote from Ms. Sturgeon’s government in Edinburgh as from Mr. Johnson’s in London, and there is even talk of the islands opting for independence from Scotland. New York Times, "Scenes of Scotland, as It Weighs Its Future Within Britain," 6 May 2021 But there’s been talk of a special Wildflowers show with guest singers. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, "Watch a Nostalgic New Video for Tom Petty’s ‘Drivin’ Down to Georgia’," 6 May 2021 She's seemingly been walking that talk — and, without question, staying busy in the process., "Lena Waithe is cementing her place as a Hollywood power player: 'Like it or not, I'm not going anywhere'," 4 May 2021 That tearful talk in the season 5 premiere took place at the family cabin on their 40th birthday amid the country's racial reckoning and Black Lives Matter protests following the killing of George Floyd. Karen Mizoguchi,, "This Is Us Sneak Peek: Randall and Kevin Kick Off Their Long-Awaited Talk — 'Here We Go'," 12 Apr. 2021 In six April games, since that talk with Bickerstaff, Okoro is averaging 12.2 points on 60.5% from the field and 56.3% from beyond the arc. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers rookie Isaac Okoro finding comfort on offense: ‘He’s moving in the right direction, he’s a better offensive player overall’," 12 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for talk

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for talk

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Talk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce talk (audio) \
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on talk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for talk

Nglish: Translation of talk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of talk for Arabic Speakers

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