American English

Definition of talk noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] talk (with somebody) (about something) a conversation or discussion Ihad a long talk with my boss about my career prospects. We need to have a serious talk about money matters. I had to have a heart-to-heart talk with her. She looked worried so we had a talk. 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
  2. formal discussions
  3. 2talks [plural] formal discussions between governments or organizations arms/peace, etc. talks to hold talks talk (between A and B) (on/over something) Talks between management and workers broke down over the issue of sick pay. High-level talks on arms limitation will reopen next month. A further round of talks will be needed if the dispute is to be resolved. Union representatives walked out of emergency talks aimed at reaching a wage settlement.
  4. speech
  5. 3[countable] talk (on something) a speech or lecture on a particular subject She gave a talk on her visit to China. Thesaurusspeechlecture address talk sermonThese are all words for a talk given to an audience.speech a formal talk given to an audience:Several people made speeches at the wedding.lecture a talk given to a group of people to tell them about a particular subject, often as part of a university or college course:a lecture on the Roman army a course/series of lecturesaddress a formal speech given to an audience:a televised presidential addressspeech or address?A speech can be given on a public or private occasion; an address is always public:He gave an address at the a fairly informal session in which someone tells a group of people about a subject:She gave an interesting talk on her visit to China.sermon a talk on a moral or religious subject, usually given by a religious leader during a service:to preach a sermonPatterns a long/short speech/lecture/address/talk/sermon a keynote speech/lecture/address to prepare/give/deliver/hear a(n) speech/lecture/address/talk/sermon to write a speech/sermon to attend/go to a lecture/talk
  6. words without actions
  7. 4[uncountable] (informal) words that are spoken, but without the necessary facts or actions to support them It's just talk. He'd never carry out his threats. Don't pay any attention to her—she's all talk.
  8. stories/rumors
  9. 5[uncountable] talk (of something/of doing something) talk (that…) stories that suggest a particular thing might happen in the future There was talk in Washington of sending in troops. She dismissed the stories of her resignation as media talk. There's talk that he's a difficult actor to work with.
  10. topic/way of speaking
  11. 6[uncountable] (often in compounds) a topic of conversation or a way of speaking business talk She said it was just girl talk that a man wouldn't understand. The book teaches you how to understand Spanish street talk (= slang). It was tough talk, coming from a man who had begun the year in a hospital bed. see also small talk, trash talk
  12. Idioms
    the talk of something
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    the person or thing that everyone is talking about in a particular place Overnight, she became the talk of the town (= very famous).
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: talk