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Webster 1913 Edition


Conversation

Conˊver-sa′tion

,
Noun.
[OE.
conversacio
(in senses 1 & 2), OF.
conversacion
, F.
conversation
, fr. L.
conversatio
frequent abode in a place, intercourse, LL. also, manner of life.]
1.
General course of conduct; behavior.
[Archaic]
Let your
conversation
be as it becometh the gospel.
Philip. i. 27.
2.
Familiar intercourse; intimate fellowship or association; close acquaintance.
Conversation with the best company.”
Dryden.
I set down, out of long experience in business and much
conversation
in books, what I thought pertinent to this business.
Bacon.
3.
Commerce; intercourse; traffic.
[Obs.]
All traffic and mutual
conversation
.
Hakluyt.
4.
Colloquial discourse; oral interchange of sentiments and observations; informal dialogue.
The influence exercised by his [Johnson’s]
conversation
was altogether without a parallel.
Macaulay.
Syn. – Intercourse; communion; commerce; familiarity; discourse; dialogue; colloquy; talk; chat.
Conversation
,
Talk
. There is a looser sense of these words, in which they are synonymous; there is a stricter sense, in which they differ. Talk is usually broken, familiar, and versatile. Conversation is more continuous and sustained, and turns ordinarily upon topics or higher interest. Children talk to their parents or to their companions; men converse together in mixed assemblies. Dr. Johnson once remarked, of an evening spent in society, that there had been a great deal of talk, but no conversation.

Webster 1828 Edition


Conversation

CONVERSATION

,
Noun.
1.
General course of manners; behavior; deportment; especially as it respects morals.
Let your conversation be as becometh the gospel. Philippians 1.
Be ye holy in all manner of conversation. 1 Peter 1.
2.
A keeping company; familiar intercourse; intimate fellowship or association; commerce in social life. Knowledge of men and manners is best acquired by conversation with the best company.
3.
Intimate and familiar acquaintance; as a conversation with books, or other object.
4.
Familiar discourse; general intercourse of sentiments; chat; unrestrained talk; opposed to a formal conference.
What I mentioned in conversation was not a new thought.
[This is now the most general use of the word.]

Definition 2022


conversation

conversation

See also: convèrsâtion

English

Noun

conversation (plural conversations)

  1. Expression and exchange of individual ideas through talking with other people; also, a set instance or occasion of such talking. [from 16th c.]
    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.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      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. B. Maxwell, chapter 12, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      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 connexionor rather as a transition from the subject that started their conversationsuch talk had been distressingly out of place.
  2. (fencing) The back-and-forth play of the blades in a bout.
  3. (obsolete) Interaction; commerce or intercourse with other people; dealing with others. [14th-18th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts XI:
      Yt chaunsed thatt a whole yere they had their conversacion with the congregacion there, and taught moche people insomoche thatt the disciples off Antioche we the fyrst that wer called Christen.
  4. (archaic) Behaviour, the way one conducts oneself; a person's way of life. [from 14th c.]
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, New York Review of Books, 2001, p.50:
      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.
  5. (obsolete) Sexual intercourse. [16th-19th c.]
    • 1723, Charles Walker, Memoirs of the Life of Sally Salisbury:
      Ariadne [] quitted her Lover Theseus, for the tumultuous Conversation of Bacchus.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, Folio Society 1973, p. 333:
      The landlady therefore would by no means have admitted any conversation of a disreputable kind to pass under her roof.
  6. (computing) The protocol-based interaction between systems processing a transaction.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Usage notes

  • 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

Translations

Verb

conversation (third-person singular simple present conversations, present participle conversationing, simple past and past participle conversationed)

  1. (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.

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: officers · likely · beneath · #834: conversation · music · direction · o'

Anagrams


French

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin conversātiō (conversation).

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /kɔ̃.vɛʁ.sa.sjɔ̃/
  • Homophone: conversations
  • Hyphenation: con‧ver‧sa‧tion

Noun

conversation f (plural conversations)

  1. conversation

Synonyms

Hypernyms

Hyponyms

Derived terms

Anagrams