American English

Definition of conversation noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



[countable, uncountable] conversation (with somebody) (about something)
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 an informal talk involving a small group of people or only two; the activity of talking in this way a telephone conversation I had a long conversation with her the other day. The main topic of conversation was the probable outcome of the election. Don was deep in conversation with the girl on his right. to get into a conversation with someone The conversation turned to gardening. I tried to make conversation (= to speak in order to appear polite). He struggled to keep the conversation going. I see no point in continuing this conversation. She tried to steer the conversation away from the topic of marriage. He felt a sudden alarm at the turn the conversation was taking. Thesaurusdiscussionconversation dialogue talk debate consultation chat gossipThese are all words for an occasion when people talk about something.discussion a detailed conversation about something that is considered to be important:Discussions are still taking place between the two countries.conversation a talk, usually a private or informal one, involving two people or a small group; the activity of talking in this way:a telephone conversationdialogue conversations in a book, play, or movie:The novel has long descriptions and not much dialogue.A dialogue is also a formal discussion between two groups, especially when they are trying to solve a problem or end a dispute:The leaders engaged in a constructive dialogue about climate a conversation or discussion, often one about a problem or something important for the people involved:I had a long talk with my boss about my career prospects.debate a formal discussion of an issue at a public meeting or in Congress. In a debate, two or more speakers express opposing views and then there is often a vote on the issue:a debate over prison reformconsultation a formal discussion between groups of people before a decision is made about something:The proposal was based on extensive consultations with leading a friendly, informal conversation; informal talking:Could I have a quick chat with you?gossip talk about other people and their private lives, that is often unkind or not true:Office gossip can be nasty and cruel.Patterns (a) discussion/conversation/dialogue/talk/debate/consultation/chat/gossip about something a discussion/conversation/dialogue/debate/consultation on something in (close) discussion/conversation/dialogue/debate/consultation >with>somebody to have a discussion/conversation/dialogue/talk/debate/consultation/chat >with>somebody to hold a discussion/conversation/debate/consultation
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: conversation