verb (used without object), chatted, chatting.
to converse in a familiar or informal manner.
Digital Technology.
to participate with others, through the Internet, in a real-time conversation in a chat room by typing one's contributions to the topics under discussion on one's computer and reading others' typed contributions on one's screen.
to engage in such conversation with one other person, often to obtain live tech support or customer service from a vendor's site.
informal conversation: We had a pleasant chat.
Digital Technology. text-based communication in real time between two users over a network or the Internet. See also instant messaging, chat room.
any of several small Old World thrushes, especially of the genus Saxicola, having a chattering cry.
Verb phrases
chat up, Chiefly British.
to talk flirtatiously with.
to talk to in a friendly, open way.

1400–50; late Middle English; short for chatter

chattable, adjective

1, 3. talk, chitchat, gossip, visit. Unabridged


(especially in Bordeaux wines) Château. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chat1 (tʃæt)
1.  informal conversation or talk conducted in an easy familiar manner
2.  the exchange of messages in an internet or other network chatroom
3.  stonechat See also whinchat any Old World songbird of the subfamily Turdinae (thrushes, etc) having a harsh chattering cry
4.  any of various North American warblers, such as Icteria virens (yellow-breasted chat)
5.  any of various Australian wrens (family Muscicapidae) of the genus Ephthianura and other genera
vb , chats, chatting, chatted
6.  to talk in an easy familiar way
7.  to exchange messages in a chatroom
[C16: short for chatter]

chat2 (tʃæt)
archaic, dialect or a catkin, esp a willow catkin
[C15: from French chat cat, referring to the furry appearance]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1440, short for chatter (q.v.). Chatty is first attested 1762.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

chat definition

chat, messaging
Any system that allows any number of logged-in users to have a typed, real-time, on-line conversation via a network.
The medium of chat is descended from talk, but the terms (and the media) have been distinct since at least the early 1990s. talk is prototypically for a small number of people, generally with no provision for channels. In chat systems, however, there are many channels in which any number of people can talk; and users may send private (one-to-one) messages.
Some early chat systems (in use 1998) include IRC, ICQ and Palace. More recent alternatives include MSN Messenger and Google Talk.
Chat systems have given rise to a distinctive style combining the immediacy of talking with all the precision (and verbosity) that written language entails. It is difficult to communicate inflection, though conventions have arisen to help with this.
The conventions of chat systems include special items of jargon, generally abbreviations meant to save typing, which are not used orally. E.g. BCNU, BBL, BTW, CUL, FWIW, FYA, FYI, IMHO, OT, OTT, TNX, WRT, WTF, WTH, , , BBL, HHOK, NHOH, ROTFL, AFK, b4, TTFN, TTYL, OIC, re.
Much of the chat style is identical to (and probably derived from) Morse code jargon used by ham-radio amateurs since the 1920s, and there is, not surprisingly, some overlap with TDD jargon. Most of the jargon was in use in talk systems. Many of these expressions are also common in Usenet news and electronic mail and some have seeped into popular culture, as with emoticons.
The MUD community uses a mixture of emoticons, a few of the more natural of the old-style talk mode abbreviations, and some of the "social" list above. In general, though, MUDders express a preference for typing things out in full rather than using abbreviations; this may be due to the relative youth of the MUD cultures, which tend to include many touch typists. Abbreviations specific to MUDs include: FOAD, ppl (people), THX (thanks), UOK? (are you OK?).
Some BIFFisms (notably the variant spelling "d00d") and aspects of ASCIIbonics appear to be passing into wider use among some subgroups of MUDders and are already pandemic on chat systems in general.
See also hakspek.
Suck article "Screaming in a Vacuum" (
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Example sentences
The video chat is an open group area for all my students to talk to each other
  or me.
They may get periodic traffic updates along with the news, chat and music from
  their car radios.
Modern kids create new slang for e-mail and chat rooms.
Many of us enjoy an occasional bedtime chat with a loved one who is far away.
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