Definition of talk noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//tɔːk//
    ; NAmE NAmE//tɔːk//
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  1. 1  [countable] talk (with somebody) (about something) a conversation or discussion I had 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. Synonymsdiscussionconversation 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 leaders.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 film: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 President told waiting reporters there had been a constructive dialogue.talk 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 a parliament. In a debate two or more speakers express opposing views and then there is often a vote on the issue:a debate on prison reformconsultation a formal discussion between groups of people before a decision is made about something:There have been extensive consultations between the two countries.chat a friendly informal conversation; informal talking. The countable use of chat is especially British English:I just called in for a chat about the kids.gossip a conversation about other people and their private lives:We had a good gossip about the boss.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/​gossip with somebody to hold a discussion/​conversation/​debate/​consultation
  2. formal discussions
  3. 2  talks [plural] formal discussions between governments or organizations arms/pay/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 holiday 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 pay 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. Synonymsspeechlecture 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 wedding.talk a fairly informal session in which somebody 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 write/​prepare/​give/​deliver/​hear a(n) speech/​lecture/​address/​talk/​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/rumours
  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 newspaper 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, sweet talk, trash talk
  12. Word OriginMiddle English: frequentative verb from the Germanic base of tale or tell.Extra examples A further round of talks is expected in March. All this talk of the boss resigning is nonsense! Did you go to the talk on Peru? Don’t you get enough shop talk at work? For all the talk of bringing their children up the same, the boys ended up never doing any of the cooking. For all their talk of equality, the boys ended up not doing any cooking. He is currently in talks with two football clubs. He was never very good at making small talk with her parents. He’s all talk. He’s too scared to do anything. I enjoyed our talk about the old days. I need to have a heart-to-heart talk with her. I never used baby talk to my little girl. I will have to have a little talk with that young lady. Let me end my talk with a prediction. She gave a very entertaining talk entitled ‘My life and hard times’. She gave an illustrated talk on Roman architecture. She likes straight talk and hates hypocrites. Talk turned to money and tempers began to fray. Talks are being held over the political future of the province. Talks produced agreement on an end to the occupation. Talks were scheduled for Rome the following month. The US authorities have increased the war talk. The agreement was concluded during talks in Beijing. The chairman’s boasts about future profits was just cheap talk. The delegation arrived for talks with their government. The peace talks will take place in Cairo. The president’s true agenda was hidden in political double talk. The talks centred on bilateral trade. The talks foundered on the issue of compensation. The talks remain deadlocked over spending plans. The two governments held secret talks on the nuclear threat. The union has broken off talks with the management. There has been much public talk about bilingual education. There is open talk of a leadership challenge. There is ridiculous talk of her breaking the world record soon. There was excited talk of emigrating to America. We can have some girl talk until Joe gets here. What all the fine talk came down to was hard cash. You often hear talk of the north-south divide. the crusade against dirty talk on TV the failure of talks between the two communities the latest round of talks aimed at ending the civil war the pillow talk of lovers Every week the sales reps go to their manager’s office for a team talk. I found the sales talk very persuasive. I had a long talk with my boss about my career prospects. She gave an interesting talk on her visit to China.Idioms comments or remarks that show that you are ready to fight very hard for something What we want from the management is fighting talk. 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 American Dictionary entry: talk