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[kon-fer-uh ns, -fruh ns] /ˈkɒn fər əns, -frəns/
a meeting for consultation or discussion:
a conference between a student and his adviser.
the act of conferring or consulting together; consultation, especially on an important or serious matter.
Government. a meeting, as of various committees, to settle disagreements between the two branches of the legislature.
an association of athletic teams; league:
an intercollegiate conference.
  1. an official assembly of clergy or of clergy and laity, customary in many Christian denominations.
  2. a group of churches whose representatives regularly meet in such an assembly.
verb (used without object), conferenced, conferencing.
to hold or participate in a conference or series of conferences.
Origin of conference
1530-40; < Medieval Latin conferentia. See confer, -ence
Related forms
[kon-fuh-ren-shuh l] /ˌkɒn fəˈrɛn ʃəl/ (Show IPA),
preconference, noun
subconference, noun
subconferential, adjective
1. parley, colloquium. See convention. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for conference
  • Because of the current flux, now is a good time to bring rationality to the conference alignments.
  • Scuttlebutt from that conference has already started fueling speculation about how important this new dinosaur might be.
  • We got together in a conference room and discussed it.
  • The droll conference room meeting of yore is a thing of the past.
  • My office mates called me into the conference room at launch time.
  • Impulse book buyers at this year's conference will have to wait before gratifying their literary desires.
  • Skype is reaching out to corporate users with a new service for conference calling.
  • The socially conscious conference launches with the announcement of a partnership with the online auction site.
  • So, after a fortnight of sometimes constructive discussion, on the eve of the last day a new version was put to the conference.
  • The conference itself was organized through social media networks.
British Dictionary definitions for conference


/ˈkɒnfərəns; -frəns/
a meeting for consultation, exchange of information, or discussion, esp one with a formal agenda
a formal meeting of two or more states, political groups, etc, esp to discuss differences or formulate common policy
an assembly of the clergy or of clergy and laity of any of certain Protestant Christian Churches acting as representatives of their denomination: the Methodist conference
(sport) a league or division of clubs or teams
(rare) an act of bestowal
Derived Forms
conferential (ˌkɒnfəˈrɛnʃəl) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin conferentia, from Latin conferre to bring together; see confer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for conference

1550s, "act of conferring," from Middle French conférence (15c.), from Medieval Latin conferentia, from Latin conferens, present participle of conferre (see confer). Meaning "formal meeting for consultation" is from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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