\ 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

Youth bands from across the state will have the opportunity to meet each other, talk to professional mariachis, and compete in front of an audience for the title of best youth mariachi band in California. Adesuwa Agbonile, sacbee, "5 Cal State Fair musical acts you don’t want to miss this year," 13 July 2018 It’s hard to talk about Marie Antoinette without putting it in the context of the time., "Why Marie Antoinette Is Really Mean Girls, Versailles Edition," 10 July 2018 This is making sure that these iconic moments talk to the young people. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Beyoncé Is Collaborating With Balmain on a Charitable Capsule Collection," 10 July 2018 After the summit Monday in Helsinki, Trump will talk to Glor at the White House on Wednesday. Hal Boedeker,, "Trump gives two-part interview to CBS, Jeff Glor," 14 July 2018 Carl Dahlin talks about his family home at Porter Beach, where their private beach is heavily eroded due to high water levels in Lake Michigan. Tony Briscoe,, "What happens when Lake Superior has too much water? It dumps it into an already overflowing Lake Michigan," 13 July 2018 Friends talked them into picking up the sport again last year. Don Norcross,, "San Diego couple puts it all on the line for Over-The-Line," 13 July 2018 Milwaukee could, however, talk with the Bulls about a sign-and-trade prior to an offer sheet getting signed. Matt Velazquez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Jabari Parker nearing offer sheet deal with Chicago Bulls," 13 July 2018 And remember - always talk to your doctor before making any significant changes in your daily eating. Madelyn Fernstrom, NBC News, "Health Matters: Is a "detox diet" good or bad for your health?," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Murkowski and Alaska Republican Dan Sullivan had more optimism on the Senate side, where bipartisan talks are underway. Erica Martinson, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska delegation looks to bipartisan response from Congress for immigration woes," 22 June 2018 Friday's talks between Red Cross officials at the Diamond Mountain resort were to arrange details of the reunions. Kim Tong-hyung, The Christian Science Monitor, "North, South Korea to host reunions for war-split families," 22 June 2018 Mike Pompeo, America’s secretary of state, said that talks with North Korea about surrendering its nuclear weapons had gone well. The Economist, "Politics this week," 12 July 2018 After laying everything out on the table, talk about what your financial plans and goals are. W. David Kern,, "How and why new couples should talk about finances," 11 July 2018 Serious talk about a Halo TV show started way back in 2013. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Halo TV show going into production in early 2019," 28 June 2018 Those contacts led to talks about creating a festival program around the area’s local traditions. Max Kutner, Smithsonian, "Some of Barcelona’s Most Acclaimed Musicians Will Rock and Rumba Washington D.C.," 27 June 2018 Scholars transcribed the tapes and studied their contents, and in the epilogue, a male professor gives a talk on them at a university conference several decades into the future. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Week's Grueling Handmaid's Tale Is A One-Woman Show," 27 June 2018 Instead, the goal is to have higher quality talks about the two countries' military relationship, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations on the trip. Lolita C. Baldor, Anchorage Daily News, "Mattis stops in Alaska on his way to Asia, seeks ‘conversation’ with Chinese," 25 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

21 Sep 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).


characteristic trappings or dress

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