Chat up


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
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]

chat up
1.  to talk flirtatiously to (a person), esp with the intention of seducing him or her
2.  to talk persuasively to (a person), esp with an ulterior motive

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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

chat up

  1. Talk flirtatiously to, as in Leave it to Charlie to chat up the girls. This usage is mostly but not entirely British. [Late 1800s]

  2. Engage in light, friendly talk, as in He was soon chatting up all the board members. [Mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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