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

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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 Stefanski said on his Monday Zoom conference, a day after the Browns’ 47-42 loss to the Chargers that dropped them 3-2. cleveland, 12 Oct. 2021 The Alaska Miners Association canceled its five-day conference, set to start Nov. 1 at the Dena’ina Center. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, 8 Oct. 2021 Poshmark today unveiled at its Poshfest annual conference for its seller community new innovations and tools to help the small and large businesses on the social resale marketplace grow and scale. Sharon Edelson, Forbes, 8 Oct. 2021 This is not the profile of a team picked as joint-favorite to win its conference before a ball’s been thrown in the air. Zach Osterman, The Indianapolis Star, 8 Oct. 2021 But not everyone in his conference is in agreement. Melanie Zanona, Manu Raju And Lauren Fox, CNN, 7 Oct. 2021 During his final regular-season video conference with reporters Sunday, Ohtani instead focused on his personal goals for the offseason. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 3 Oct. 2021 That was against a Virginia defense that allowed its first two conference opponents an average of 587 yards and 48 points. Dave Hyde,, 1 Oct. 2021 Second, McConnell got his conference to agree that any increase in the debt ceiling should come from Democratic votes alone. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 25 Sep. 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

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Conference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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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