\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

The Problem Solvers want to make their own deal, but talks are still ongoing, a senior leadership aide told Vox. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "Nancy Pelosi’s Problem Solvers Caucus problem, explained," 26 Nov. 2018 The talks are part of a broader growth initiative pushed by the president-elect to foster development in Central America and southern Mexico, said Jesús Ramírez, a spokesman for Mr. López Obrador. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Mexico in Talks With U.S. Over Plan to Require Migrants to Stay on Its Side of Border," 24 Nov. 2018 But talks are apparently far enough along that JBG Smith, the city’s top real estate developer, has pulled some of its property off the market. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Amazon is reportedly in ‘advanced discussions’ to locate its HQ2 in Northern Virginia," 3 Nov. 2018 But Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that any talks about the withdrawal of Iranian forces would be contingent on providing security guarantees for Syria. Lolita C. Baldor, The Seattle Times, "US general visits troops fighting Islamic State in Syria," 22 Oct. 2018 The talks in southeast Asia are preliminary, preceding a December meeting in Katowice, Poland. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The World Is Utterly Failing to Keep Climate Change Under Control," 5 Sep. 2018 On Friday morning, Mr. Trump headed to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for a military display, and traveled later to Chequers, the prime minister’s country residence, for talks with Mrs. May on foreign policy issues. Ceylan Yeginsu, New York Times, "London’s ‘Trump Baby’ Balloon Flies as Protests Take Off Across U.K.," 13 July 2018 There has also been talk of selling some permits at a reduced cost to low-income residents. Sharon Coolidge,, "Cincinnati unveils long-awaited OTR residential parking plan. Only thing missing? The cost.," 13 July 2018 In addition, talk to your nursery about newer, resistant varieties of both plants. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Here’s what’s eating your currant bushes and ‘spitting’ on your wild roses," 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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More from Merriam-Webster on talk

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with talk

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for talk

Spanish Central: Translation of talk

Nglish: Translation of talk for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of talk for Arabic Speakers

Comments on talk

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to enclose within walls

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