See also: convèrsâtion
From Middle English conversacioun, from French conversation, from Latin conversātiōnem, accusative singular of conversātiō (“conversation”), from conversor (“abide, keep company with”). Morphologically converse + -ation.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˌkɒn.vəˈseɪ.ʃən/, [ˌkʰɒɱ.vəˈseɪ.ʃn̩]
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˌkɑn.vəɹˈseɪ.ʃən/, [ˌkʰɑɱ.vɚˈseɪ.ʃn̩]
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -eɪʃən
conversation (countable and uncountable, plural conversations)
- Expression and exchange of individual ideas through talking with other people; also, a set instance or occasion of such talking. [from 16th c.]
- Synonyms: banter, chat, chinwag, dialogue, discussion, interlocution, powwow, table talk
- I had an interesting conversation with Nicolas yesterday about how much he's getting paid.
- 1699, William Temple, Heads designed for an essay on conversations:
- Study gives strength to the mind; conversation, grace: the first apt to give stiffness, the other suppleness: one gives substance and form to the statue, the other polishes it.
- 1876–1877, Henry James, Jr., chapter 1, in The American, Boston, Mass.: James R[ipley] Osgood and Company, […], published 5 May 1877, →OCLC:
- M. Nioche pressed his finger-tips together and slowly raised his shoulders. “A little conversation!” “Conversation—that’s it!” murmured Mademoiselle Noémie, who had caught the word. “The conversation of the best society.” “Our French conversation is famous, you know,” M. Nioche ventured to continue.
- 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter V, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
- When this conversation was repeated in detail within the hearing of the young woman in question, and undoubtedly for his benefit, Mr. Trevor threw shame to the winds and scandalized the Misses Brewster then and there by proclaiming his father to have been a country storekeeper.
- 1918, W[illiam] B[abington] Maxwell, chapter XII, in The Mirror and the Lamp, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, →OCLC:
- All this was extraordinarily distasteful to Churchill. […] Never before had he felt such repulsion when the vicar displayed his characteristic bluntness or coarseness of speech. In the present connexion—or rather as a transition from the subject that started their conversation—such talk had been distressingly out of place.
- 1968, Mac Davis & Billy Strange (lyrics and music), “A Little Less Conversation”, performed by Elvis Presley:
- A little less conversation, a little more action please / All this aggravation ain't satisfactioning me
- (fencing) The back-and-forth play of the blades in a bout.
- (computing, networking) The protocol-based interaction between systems processing a transaction. [from 20th c.]
- (obsolete) Interaction; commerce or intercourse with other people; dealing with others. [14th–18th c.]
- 1526, [William Tyndale, transl.], The Newe Testamẽt […] (Tyndale Bible), [Worms, Germany: Peter Schöffer], →OCLC, The Actes off the Apostles xj:, folios clxxi, recto – clxxi, verso:
- Yt chaunſed thatt a whole yere they had their converſacion with the congregacion there / and taught moche people in ſomoche thatt the diſciples off Antioche wer the fyrſt that wer called Chriſten.
- (archaic) Behaviour, the way one conducts oneself; a person's way of life. [from 14th c.]
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Hebrews 13:5:
- Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
- 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, →OCLC:
- There are many that take no heed what happeneth to others by bad conversation, and therefore overthrow themselves in the same manner through their own fault, not foreseeing dangers manifest.
- 1748, [Samuel Richardson], “Letter XXVII”, in Clarissa. Or, The History of a Young Lady: […], volume (please specify |volume=I to VII), London: […] S[amuel] Richardson; […], →OCLC:
- I have desired him to inquire after Lovelace's life and conversation in town.
- (obsolete) Sexual intercourse. [16th–19th c.]
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:copulation
- 1723, Charles Walker, Memoirs of the Life of Sally Salisbury:
- Ariadne […] quitted her Lover Theseus, for the tumultuous Conversation of Bacchus.
- 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar, […], →OCLC:Folio Society 1973, p. 333:
- Our travellers had happened to take up their residence at a house of exceeding good repute, whither Irish ladies of strict virtue, and many northern lasses of the same predicament, were accustomed to resort in their way to Bath. The landlady therefore would by no means have admitted any conversation of a disreputable kind to pass under her roof. Indeed, so foul and contagious are all such proceedings, that they contaminate the very innocent scenes where they are committed, and give the name of a bad house, or of a house of ill repute, to all those where they are suffered to be carried on.
- (obsolete) Engagement with a specific subject, idea, field of study etc. [16th–18th c.]
- Synonyms: understanding, familiarity
- 1570, John Dee, in H. Billingsley (trans.) Euclid, Elements of Geometry, Preface:
- So grosse is our conuersation, and dull is our apprehension: while mortall Sense, in vs, ruleth the common wealth of our litle world.
- To make conversation means to start a conversation with someone with no other aim than to talk and break the silence.
- To have a conversation, and to hold a conversation, both mean to converse.
- See Appendix:Collocations of do, have, make, and take
expression and exchange of individual ideas through talking with other people
conversation (third-person singular simple present conversations, present participle conversationing, simple past and past participle conversationed)
- (nonstandard, transitive, intransitive) To engage in conversation (with).
- 1983, James Frederick Mason; Hélène Joséphine Harvitt, The French review:
- Gone now are the "high-minded" style, the "adapted from literature" feel, the voice-over narration, and the abstract conversationing about ideas, values...
- 1989, Robert L Gale, A Henry James encyclopedia:
- ...he has breakfasted me, dined me, conversationed me, absolutely caressed me. He has been really most kind and paternal...
- 2002, Georgie Nickell, I Only Smoke on Thursdays:
- After all this conversationing, Scottie, my usual dance partner, was getting antsy and wanted to dance.
Borrowed from Latin conversātiōnem (“conversation”).
- IPA(key): /kɔ̃.vɛʁ.sa.sjɔ̃/
Audio (France, Paris) (file)
- Homophone: conversations
- Hyphenation: con‧ver‧sa‧tion
conversation f (plural conversations)
- Synonyms: bavardage, causerie, dialogue, discussion
- “conversation”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.