• (RP) IPA: /ˌkɒn.vəˈseɪ.ʃən/, [ˌkʰɒɱ.vəˈseɪ.ʃn̩]
  • (America) IPA: /ˌkɑn.vəɹˈseɪ.ʃən/, [ˌkʰɑɱ.vɚˈseɪ.ʃn̩]


  1. Expression and exchange of individual ideas through talking with other people; also, a set instance or occasion of such talking. [from 16th c.]
    Synonyms: banter, chat, chinwag, dialogue, discussion, interlocution, powwow, table talk
    I had an interesting conversation with Nicolas yesterday about how much he's getting paid.
    • 1699, Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet, 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.
  2. (fencing) The back-and-forth play of the blades in a bout.
  3. (computing, networking) The protocol-based interaction between systems processing a transaction. [from 20th c.]
  4. (obsolete) Interaction; commerce or intercourse with other people; dealing with others. [14th-18th c.]
    • [1526], [William Tyndale, transl.], The Newe Testamēt […] (Tyndale Bible), [Worms, Germany: Peter Schöffer], OCLC 762018299 ↗; republished as The New Testament of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: Published in 1526. […], London: Samuel Bagster, […], 1836, OCLC 679500256 ↗, 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.
  5. (archaic) Behaviour, the way one conducts oneself; a person's way of life. [from 14th c.]
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), imprinted at London: By Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981 ↗, Hebrews 13:5 ↗:
      Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970 ↗:
      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.
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Letter 27:
      I have desired him to inquire after Lovelace's life and conversation in town.
  6. (obsolete) Sexual intercourse. [16th-19th c.]
    Synonyms: Thesaurus:copulation
    • 1723, Charles Walker, Memoirs of the Life of Sally Salisbury:
      smallcaps Ariadne […] quitted her Lover smallcaps Theseus, for the tumultuous Conversation of smallcaps Bacchus.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, 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.
  7. (obsolete) Engagement with a specific subject, idea, field of study etc. [16th–18th c.]
    Synonyms: understanding, familiarity
    • 1570, John Dee, in H. Billingsley (trans.) Euclid, Elements of Geometry, Preface:
      So grosse is our conuersation, and dull is our apprehension: while mortall Sense, in vs, ruleth the common wealth of our litle world.
Related terms Translations Verb

conversation (conversations, present participle conversationing; past and past participle conversationed)

  1. (nonstandard, ambitransitive) 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...

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