Definition of dialogue in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdīəˌläɡ/
Pronunciation: /ˈdīəˌlôɡ/
(also dialog)


1Conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie: the book consisted of a series of dialogues passages of dialogue
More example sentences
  • There isn't much spoken out loud in the film, even though we retained nearly all the dialogue from the book.
  • He read all the books and I do mean all and could recite large passages of film dialogue by heart.
  • A series of ads for Borden dairy products featured dialogues between Elsie the cow and her blustering husband Elmer.
conversation, talk, discussion, interchange, discourse;
chat, tête-à-tête, heart-to-heart
informal confab, chinwag
formal colloquy, confabulation
1.1A discussion between two or more people or groups, especially one directed toward exploration of a particular subject or resolution of a problem: the U.S. would enter into a direct dialogue with Vietnam interfaith dialogue
More example sentences
  • The overall effect of the changes described above has been to allow firms to re-enter a direct dialogue with each of their customers.
  • Without direct dialogue with students on this question, it is difficult to say.
  • We're not just wanting a dialogue with the government-we need the government to move towards us.
discussion, exchange, debate, exchange of views, talk, consultation, conference, parley;
talks, negotiations
informal powwow, skull session


[no object] chiefly North American
1Take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem: he stated that he wasn’t going to dialogue with the guerrillas
More example sentences
  • Civil society means we have to be willing to dialogue with others with whom we disagree.
  • Armed with this information, patients may find it easier to dialogue with their doctors.
  • Who are the various constituent groups that we need to dialogue with about this?
1.1 [with object] Provide (a movie or play) with a dialogue.
Example sentences
  • The film is sparsely dialoged and the simplicity and razor sharp focus of Kiewslowski's very Christian fable about suffering, love and redemption makes Heavenhighly unusual but powerfully sweet in its simple lyricism.
  • The subsequent Greek tragedy is perceptively detailed, exhaustively dialogued, and incohesively patched together.


dialogue of the deaf

A discussion in which each party is unresponsive to what the other says.
Example sentences
  • It is, however, many years since the G7 fulfilled this role and its meetings are now dialogues of the deaf.
  • By the late 1930s, they began to act accordingly, thus contributing to a fascinating dialog of the deaf between purveyors and users of new technologies and techniques.
  • We are left with learned dialogues of the deaf, consisting solely of competing scholarly monologues in the present.


Middle English: from Old French dialoge, via Latin from Greek dialogos, from dialegesthai 'converse with', from dia 'through' + legein 'speak'.

  • This comes via Old French and Latin from Greek dialogos, from dialegesthai ‘converse with, speak alternately’: the formative elements are dia- ‘through, across’ and legein ‘speak’. The tendency in English is to confine the sense to a conversation between two people, perhaps by associating the prefix dia- with di-. Dia- is also found in diameter (Late Middle English) ‘the measure across’; diaphanous (early 17th century) ‘shows through’; diaphragm (Late Middle English) a barrier that is literally a ‘fence through’, and diaspora (late 19th century) a scattering across.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: di·a·logue

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