con·​fer·​ence | \ ˈkän-f(ə-)rən(t)s How to pronounce conference (audio) , -fərn(t)s, for sense 2 usually kən-ˈfər-ən(t)s \

Definition of conference

1a : a meeting of two or more persons for discussing matters of common concern The president is in conference with his advisers.
b : a usually formal interchange of views : consultation a conference on climate change
c : a meeting of members of the two branches of a legislature to adjust differences
d : caucus
2 or less commonly conferrence \ kən-​ˈfər-​ən(t)s How to pronounce conference (audio) \ : bestowal, conferment the conference of academic degrees
3a : a representative assembly or administrative organization of a religious denomination
b : a territorial division of a religious denomination
4 : an association of athletic teams a football conference

Other Words from conference

conferential \ ˌkän-​fə-​ˈren(t)-​shəl How to pronounce conference (audio) \ adjective

Examples of conference in a Sentence

The organization held its annual conference in New York this year. national conferences on women's health a conference of foreign ministers Our boss called a conference to discuss the new changes. He spent an hour in conference with the president. the champions of the American Football Conference
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Recent Examples on the Web With both College Gameday and a noon start on ABC waiting, the Spartans will have another national showcase game that has an impact on the conference, national title, and Heisman race. Andrew Hammond, Detroit Free Press, 16 Nov. 2021 The next step in the case is now a pretrial conference scheduled for Jan. 18, with a trial start date of Jan. 31. Matthew J. Palm,, 15 Nov. 2021 Coming on the heels of the COP26 conference, these photographers show us what is at stake. Everett Potter, Forbes, 14 Nov. 2021 Garcetti had been taking rapid antigen tests daily while at the conference, which all came back negative. Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2021 Here are this year's Central Indiana all-conference, all-district and all-area awards. Brian Haenchen, The Indianapolis Star, 13 Nov. 2021 The single biggest delegation at the climate COP26 conference in Glasgow comes from the kingdom of Black Gold—the petroleum industry. Sophie Mellor, Fortune, 12 Nov. 2021 Second-team all-state, first-team all-district, first-team all-conference. Michael Osipoff,, 12 Nov. 2021 Keyon Rostamnezhad, a Northeastern graduate, flew from Boston to the COP26 conference in Glasgow last week as a UN Foundation Global Goals climate ambassador. Globe Staff,, 11 Nov. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'conference.' 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 conference

1527, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for conference

borrowed from Middle French and Medieval Latin; Middle French conference, borrowed from Medieval Latin conferentia "contribution, discussion," noun derivative from conferent-, conferens, present participle of conferre "to bring or take, convey, bring together" — more at confer

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Time Traveler for conference

Time Traveler

The first known use of conference was in 1527

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Dictionary Entries Near conference



conference call

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Statistics for conference

Last Updated

19 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Nov. 2021.

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More Definitions for conference



English Language Learners Definition of conference

: a formal meeting in which many people gather in order to talk about ideas or problems related to a particular topic (such as medicine or business) usually for several days
: a formal meeting in which a small number of people talk about something
: a group of sports teams that play against each other and that are part of a larger league of teams


con·​fer·​ence | \ ˈkän-fə-rəns How to pronounce conference (audio) , -frəns \

Kids Definition of conference

: a meeting for discussion or exchange of opinions


con·​fer·​ence | \ ˈkän-frəns, -fə-rəns How to pronounce conference (audio) \

Legal Definition of conference

1 : a meeting for consultation, deliberation, discussion, or interchange of opinions a conference on environmental law — see also judicial conference, pretrial conference
2 : a meeting of members of the two branches of a legislature especially to adjust differences in the provisions of a bill passed in different forms by the two branches also : conference committee
3 : caucus

More from Merriam-Webster on conference

Nglish: Translation of conference for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of conference for Arabic Speakers


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