discourse

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

Middle English discours, from Middle French discours (conversation, speech), from Late Latin discursus (the act of running about), from Latin discurrō (run about), from dis- (apart) + currō (run). Spelling modified by influence of Middle French cours (course).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

discourse (countable and uncountable, plural discourses)

  1. (uncountable, archaic) Verbal exchange, conversation.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Chapter XVIII
      Two or three of the gentlemen sat near him, and I caught at times scraps of their conversation across the room. At first I could not make much sense of what I heard; for the discourse of Louisa Eshton and Mary Ingram, who sat nearer to me, confused the fragmentary sentences that reached me at intervals.
  2. (uncountable) Expression in words, either speech or writing.
    • 2012 March 1, Brian Hayes, “Pixels or Perish”, American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 106: 
      Drawings and pictures are more than mere ornaments in scientific discourse. Blackboard sketches, geological maps, diagrams of molecular structure, astronomical photographs, MRI images, the many varieties of statistical charts and graphs: These pictorial devices are indispensable tools for presenting evidence, for explaining a theory, for telling a story.
  3. (countable) A formal lengthy exposition of some subject, either spoken or written.
    The preacher gave us a long discourse on duty.
  4. (countable) Any rational expression, reason.
    • South
      difficult, strange, and harsh to the discourses of natural reason
    • Shakespeare
      Sure he that made us with such large discourse, / Looking before and after, gave us not / That capability and godlike reason / To rust in us unused.
  5. (social sciences, countable) An institutionalized way of thinking, a social boundary defining what can be said about a specific topic (after Michel Foucault).
    • 2007, Christine L. Marran, Poison Woman: Figuring Female Transgression in Modern Japanese Culture (page 137)
      Furthermore, it should be recalled from the previous chapter that criminological discourse of the 1930s deemed every woman a potential criminal, implicitly including the domestic woman.
    • 2008, Jane Anna Gordon, Lewis Gordon, A Companion to African-American Studies (page 308)
      But equally important to the emergence of uniquely African-American queer discourses is the refusal of African-American movements for liberation to address adequately issues of sexual orientation and gender identity.
  6. (obsolete) Dealing; transaction.
    • Beaumont and Fletcher
      Good Captain Bessus, tell us the discourse / Betwixt Tigranes and our king, and how / We got the victory.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb[edit]

discourse (third-person singular simple present discourses, present participle discoursing, simple past and past participle discoursed)

  1. (intransitive) To engage in discussion or conversation; to converse.
  2. (intransitive) To write or speak formally and at length.
  3. (obsolete, transitive) To debate.
  4. To exercise reason; to employ the mind in judging and inferring; to reason.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)

Synonyms[edit]

  • (engage in discussion or conversation): converse, talk
  • (write or speak formally and at length):

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]