\ 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
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

Keep scrolling for more

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?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Claire talks a good game, pitching herself as the answer to their prayers. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'Like a Boss' teams Tiffany Haddish and Rose Byrne in a light beauty-biz comedy," 9 Jan. 2020 The trio -- and others -- agreed, through the team’s communications staff, to talk prior to Thursday’s game against the Detroit Pistons. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "Cleveland Cavaliers plan to move forward with John Beilein as head coach; players accept his apology," 9 Jan. 2020 As is so often the case with Brexit, there is a danger of the two sides talking past each other. Mark Landler, New York Times, "And You Thought Brexit Was Tough …," 8 Jan. 2020 Every building on Goss Avenue has a story to tell, but those walls can’t talk. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "You may know it as the Eiderdown restaurant. But to this Germantown family, it was home," 8 Jan. 2020 The devices all seemed pretty early in development, and nailing down exactly how anything would work was a challenge, but here's a roundup of the things Samsung talked about at CES. The Bixby speaker lives! Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Samsung’s CES vaporware keynote details AR glasses, fitness exoskeleton," 7 Jan. 2020 Andre Drummond, playing in his second game since reports became public that the Pistons are talking to teams about trading him, shot 2-for-13 in scoring 12 points, collecting 18 rebounds and blocking four shots. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons hang tough, but have 20 shots blocked by Lakers in 106-99 loss," 6 Jan. 2020 When Mayor Pete Buttigieg talks about his military service, his opponents fall silent, the media fall in love, and his political prospects soar. Veterans roll their eyes. Greg Kelly And Katie Horgan, WSJ, "Buttigieg’s War and ‘The Shortest Way Home’," 6 Jan. 2020 In the Insta caption Hailey talks about all the different ways people have tried to tear her down. Seventeen, "Hailey Baldwin Says She Has Been ‘Torn Apart’ By Hate Comments," 6 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mahomes poised to make history: No offseason concern for the Chiefs is bigger than the looming contract extension talks involving Patrick Mahomes. USA TODAY, "Offseason? What offseason? XFL kickoff, NFL free agency and draft loom ahead," 7 Feb. 2020 Lois Lowry will speak to middle school students on the same day of Sides’ talk. Dan Singer, Dallas News, "Writer and adventurer Hampton Sides to headline Highland Park Literary Fest," 7 Feb. 2020 Kim Kardashian West talks to the New York Times about her shapewear line Skims, now selling via Nordstrom. Fortune, "This is the big factor holding women back from CEO jobs," 7 Feb. 2020 Compassion in divisive times: A talk with Dr. Pilar Jennings, psychoanalyst and Buddhist teacher, on practicing the healing arts of Buddhist psychology during a time of social, racial and political divisiveness., "Bay Area political events: Debate watch party, Rock the Primary," 6 Feb. 2020 Any talk about Messi's hypothetical exit from Barcelona usually involves him moving to Manchester City, the club which infamously tried to sign him in 2008 following the arrival of its new super rich owners. Matias Grez, CNN, "What next for Lionel Messi after the Instagram post that rocked Barcelona?," 6 Feb. 2020 Sanders, first elected to the House in 1990 and the Senate in 2006, is all talk and no action, Biden said. Joseph Simonson, Washington Examiner, "Democratic candidates get nasty in final days before New Hampshire primary," 6 Feb. 2020 In December, Varadkar, 41, called national elections for Feb. 8 , hoping to win more seats in parliament for his center-right Fine Gael party by touting his strong leadership during the Brexit talks. Ciara Nugent, Time, "Ireland Goes to the Polls on Saturday. Here's Why the Stakes Are So High," 5 Feb. 2020 Pelosi skipped some of the traditional honorific talk when introducing the president. Emma Grey Ellis, Wired, "How American Politics Became a Meme Theater," 5 Feb. 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about talk

Time Traveler for talk

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for talk

Last Updated

12 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Talk.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for talk


How to pronounce talk (audio)

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.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on talk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for talk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with talk

Spanish Central: Translation of talk

Nglish: Translation of talk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of talk for Arabic Speakers

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!