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[kon-ver-sey-shuh n] /ˌkɒn vərˈseɪ ʃən/
informal interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken words; oral communication between persons; talk; colloquy.
an instance of this.
association or social intercourse; intimate acquaintance.
the ability to talk socially with others:
She writes well but has no conversation.
  1. behavior or manner of living.
  2. close familiarity; intimate acquaintance, as from constant use or study.
Origin of conversation
1300-50; Middle English conversacio(u)n < Latin conversātiōn- (stem of conversātiō) society, intercourse, equivalent to conversāt(us) past participle of conversārī to associate with (see converse1) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
preconversation, noun
1. dialogue, chat. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for conversation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Miss Waldstricker whirled suddenly to bring him into the conversation.

    The Secret of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • Mr. Davis, may I ask the favor of a few minutes' conversation with you in private?

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • And nothing could be more respectful than Jasper's manner and conversation.

    What Will He Do With It, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • "Not at all," persisted he, accepting as conversation what she meant as a stab.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
  • To this Lucy thought it best to make no answer, and the conversation for a while was dropped.

    The Eustace Diamonds Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for conversation


the interchange through speech of information, ideas, etc; spoken communication
make conversation, to talk in an artificial way
adjective colloquial
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 conversation

mid-14c., "living together, having dealings with others," also "manner of conducting oneself in the world;" from Old French conversation, from Latin conversationem (nominative conversatio) "act of living with," noun of action from past participle stem of conversari "to live with, keep company with," literally "turn about with," from Latin com- "with" (see com-) + vertare, frequentative of vertere (see versus).

Specific sense of "talk" is 1570s. Used as a synonym for "sexual intercourse" from at least 1511, hence criminal conversation, legal term for adultery from late 18c. Related: Conversationalist; conversationist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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conversation in the Bible

generally the goings out and in of social intercourse (Eph. 2:3; 4:22; R.V., "manner of life"); one's deportment or course of life. This word is never used in Scripture in the sense of verbal communication from one to another (Ps. 50:23; Heb. 13:5). In Phil. 1:27 and 3:20, a different Greek word is used. It there means one's relations to a community as a citizen, i.e., citizenship.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with conversation


In addition to the idiom beginning with conversation also see: make conversation
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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