conversation

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See also: convèrsâtion

English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Old French conversation, from Latin conversātiōnem, accusative singular of conversātiō (conversation), from conversor (abide, keep company with).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

conversation (plural conversations)

  1. Expression and exchange of individual ideas through talking with other people; also, a set instance or occasion of such talking. [from 16th c.]
    I had an interesting conversation with Nicolas yesterday about how much he's getting paid.
    • 1699, William Temple, 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.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
      When this conversation was repeated in detail within the hearing of the young woman in question, and undoubtedly for his benefit, Mr. Trevor threw shame to the winds and scandalized the Misses Brewster then and there by proclaiming his father to have been a country storekeeper.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 12, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      All this was extraordinarily distasteful to Churchill. [] Never before had he felt such repulsion when the vicar displayed his characteristic bluntness or coarseness of speech. In the present connexion—or rather as a transition from the subject that started their conversation—such talk had been distressingly out of place.
  2. (fencing) The back-and-forth play of the blades in a bout.
  3. (obsolete) Interaction; commerce or intercourse with other people; dealing with others. [14th-18th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, 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.
  4. (archaic) Behaviour, the way one conducts oneself; a person's way of life. [from 14th c.]
    • 1621, Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy, New York Review of Books, 2001, p. 50:
      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.
  5. (obsolete) Sexual intercourse. [16th-19th c.]
    • 1723, Charles Walker, Memoirs of the Life of Sally Salisbury:
      Ariadne [...] quitted her Lover Theseus, for the tumultuous Conversation of Bacchus.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, Tom Jones, 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.
  6. (computing) The protocol-based interaction between systems processing a transaction.

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Verb[edit]

conversation (third-person singular simple present conversations, present participle conversationing, simple past and past participle conversationed)

  1. (nonstandard, transitive, intransitive) 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...
    • 1989, Robert L Gale, A Henry James encyclopedia
      ...he has breakfasted me, dined me, conversationed me, absolutely caressed me. He has been really most kind and paternal...
    • 2002, Georgie Nickell, I Only Smoke on Thursdays
      After all this conversationing, Scottie, my usual dance partner, was getting antsy and wanted to dance.

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French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Latin conversātiō (conversation).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /kɔ̃.vɛʁ.sa.sjɔ̃/
  • (file)
  • Homophone: conversations
  • Hyphenation: con‧ver‧sa‧tion

Noun[edit]

conversation f (plural conversations)

  1. conversation

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