- 1Speak in order to give information or express ideas or feelings; converse or communicate by spoken words: the two men talked we’d sit and talk about jazz it was no use talking to Anthony [with object]: you’re talking rubbishMore example sentences
speak, give voice, chat; chatter, gossip, prattle, prate, babble, rattle on, blather, blether, orateNorth American • informal rap, run off at the mouthAustralian/New Zealand • informal magutter, speak, say, voice, express, articulate, pronounce, enunciate, verbalize, vocalizeconverse, communicate, speak to each other, discuss things, have a talk, have a chat, have a tête-à-tête, confer, consult each other; negotiate, have negotiations, parley, palaver• informal have a confab, chew the fat/rag, jaw, rap• formal confabulate
- However, since I was so relieved to be talking to someone, I started talking with her friend.
- As well as stopping and talking to people on the street we also spent a lot of time checking under bridges and talking with the homeless there.
- For Arius, it was logically possible to talk about God without talking of him as Father.
- 1.1Have the power of speech: he can talk as well as you or I canMore example sentences
- He can only use his right hand and finds talking difficult as his speech is impaired.
- He talks, but his speech has not developed at the rate it should.
- 1.2Discuss personal or intimate feelings: we need to talk, MaggieMore example sentences
- What gets sacrificed is any time to talk, discuss, consider options, or enjoy each other's company.
- It all points to the need to talk, to discuss, to jointly plan for the future without confrontation.
- I talk to him every once in a while, and I went to his birthday party, but we never talk like we used to.
- 1.3 [with object and adverbial] Persuade or cause (someone) to do something by talking: don’t try to talk me into acting as a go-betweenMore example sentences
persuade someone to, convince someone to, argue someone into, cajole someone into, coax someone into, bring someone round to, talk someone round to, inveigle someone into, wheedle someone into, sweet-talk someone into, influence someone to, prevail on someone to• informal hustle, fast-talkdissuade from, persuade against, discourage from, deter from, stop, put off, advise against, urge against, divert from, argue out of
- The negotiators would come up, attempt to talk this person into letting them go.
- While at his daughter's home he developed an infection and after days of persuasion from his family was talked into going back into hospital.
- He was talked out of a tightrope walk between two sky-scrapers to open a megastore in New York, but he has come close to death many times in publicity stunts.
- 1.4 [with object] (be talking) • informal Used to emphasize the seriousness, importance, or extent of the thing one is discussing: we’re talking big moneyMore example sentences
- A while ago people were talking Oscar nominations, but it would really be an injustice if it got any.
- Where the age or consent is a defence, well you're talking a different kettle of fish.
- We're certainly not talking your average, run-of-the-mill love story here.
- 1.5Reveal secret or confidential information: dead men can’t talkMore example sentences
- Multinationals will go to any lengths to keep their employees from talking, we can reveal.
- Some talked and sold their secrets for their lives.
- 1.6Gossip: you’ll have the whole school talkingMore example sentences
gossip, spread rumours, pass comment, make remarks, criticize
- She's the bride-to-be who's got the whole country talking about her cold feet.
- He always was a big name here in New York, but now the whole country's talking about him.
- These long ago promised chairs have had the whole office talking for weeks now.
- 2Have formal dealings or discussions; negotiate: they won’t talk to the regime that killed their familiesMore example sentences
- We want them to talk to each other in addition to their governments talking.
- North End confirmed they were talking to players, but refused to name names.
- 3 [with object] Use (a particular language) in speech: we were talking GermanMore example sentences
- Where they couldn't talk the language, they made themselves understood by signs, and everyone seemed to be getting on nicely.
- In his anxiety he had forgotten that his only means of making me understand was to talk my language, so he jabbered away in his native German.
- A candidate who can talk English in an Americanised accent will be the most favoured choice of these companies.
nounBack to top
- 1 [mass noun] Communication by spoken words; conversation or discussion: there was a slight but noticeable lull in the talkMore example sentences
chatter, chatting, chattering, gossiping, prattling, prating, gibbering, jabbering, babbling, gabbling, rattling on, speaking, talkinginformation, news
- In movies like this, a picture is worth a thousand words, and less talk would have been welcome.
- In fact, careless talk and unciphered communications gave considerable help to German intelligence.
- The avian flu virus which has generated much talk and discussion across continents in recent weeks is of a deadly nature.
- 1.1 [count noun] A period of conversation or discussion, especially a relatively serious one: my mother had a talk with LouisMore example sentences
- He was having a serious talk with his mother as soon as all this was over.
- They were inseparable, those two, and of course their serious discussions and long talks with their parents resulted in the decision to be married.
- Either way, I knew I was going to be having a serious talk with them about it.
- 1.2Rumour, gossip, or speculation: there is talk of an armisticeMore example sentences
- Brushing off talk of a whispering campaign against him in his own party, he claimed that Liberal Democrats were the party of tomorrow.
- The new editor has instead upped news content and there is talk of launching a News Review section.
- However, in response to the public outcry at the proposals, the council has now backtracked claiming talk of closure was a rumour.
- 1.3Empty promises or boasting: he’s all talkMore example sentences
- The promises and the tough talk are being met with justifiable skepticism.
- For all their talk and promises of support, they have always placed self-preservation at the top of their list.
- If we think about it together we might be able to do things beyond just empty talk.
- 1.4 (the talk of) A current subject of widespread gossip or speculation in (a particular place): within days I was the talk of the townMore example sentences
- By the time I heard, the rumour had been the talk of the school for close to 20 minutes.
- 2 (talks) Formal discussions or negotiations over a period: peace talksMore example sentences
- Singapore is also now in formal talks with Canada, China and Mexico for similar agreements.
- Norway has indicated it has suspended formal involvement in the talks, adding to the pressure on the prime minister and the president to end the political stalemate.
- No formal talks are under way, and there is a chance no deal will occur.
- 3An informal address or lecture: a thirty-minute illustrated talk a talk on a day in the life of an actorMore example sentences
- Members of the Countryside Team will be present and there will be an informal talk, followed by a gentle walk through the park.
- Earlier the peer educators had used a lecture-cum-discussion technique and but later switched over to informal talks in groups.
- In his talk, Harvey will address the anxiety that string theory has produced.
- • informal Used to convey that a criticism made applies equally well to the person who has made it: ‘He’d chase anything in a skirt!’ ‘You can’t talk!’More example sentences
- ‘You're the one that started this conversation so you shouldn't talk,’ I spat back.
don't talk to me about ——
- • informal Said in protest when someone introduces a subject of which the speaker has had bitter personal experience: don’t talk to me about credit cards—I just got the bill for my Christmas excesses today!More example sentences
- And don't talk to me about personal kinds of campaigning.
- So don't talk to me about discrimination, or racism.
- Tax the rich, and don't talk to me about capital flight.
know what one is talking about
- Be expert or authoritative on a particular subject: I know what I’m talking about—I’ve built up three businesses from scratchMore example sentences
- But why on earth, before one knows what one is talking about and without the scientific evidence to make a judgment, would one nevertheless make that judgment?
- Unless one is in that situation and really knows what it is like to face those sorts of family difficulties, one does not know what one is talking about when pontificating about cultural sensitivities.
talk a blue streak
- see blue1.
talk about ——!
- see dirty.
talk the hind leg off a donkey
- British • informal Talk incessantly: he could talk the hind leg off a donkey without ever letting you know what was in his mindMore example sentences
- I am a person who can talk the hind leg off a donkey but I can see that this well earned title may go to someone else if I don't buck my ideas up.
- My grandmother always did say I could talk the hind leg off a donkey!
- I know that if I close my eyes, I can see Gail as she once was, happy and innocent and ready to talk the hind leg off a donkey.
talk nineteen to the dozen
- see dozen.
talk of the devil
- see devil.
talk sense into
- Persuade (someone) to behave more sensibly: just as well she’s coming; she might be able to talk some sense into youMore example sentences
- You can't talk sense into these people here.
- Some officers try to talk sense into the taunters.
- But I owe him a big thank you for talking sense into me.
- see shop.
talk through one's hat (or British arse or backside or US ass)
- • informal Talk foolishly, wildly, or ignorantly: come on, you’re talking through your hat on thatMore example sentences
- And for me to say anything about the intelligence dispute would be talking through my hat.
- Good thing he's so electable, or he might have to stop talking through his hat.
- I'm afraid, my old darling, that you are talking through your hat.
talk the talk
- • informal Speak fluently or convincingly about something or in a way intended to please or impress others: we may not look like true rock jocks yet, but we talk the talkMore example sentences
- She talks the talk of the natural childbirth movement, which campaigns against the ‘doctor knows best’ approach to pregnancy and birth.
- Going to football, or at least talking the talk, allowed politicians and journalists to express their common touch.
- While Henry talked the talk, we were never very sure that he understood what was going on around him.
- see turkey.
- Address (someone) in a hectoring or self-important way without listening to their replies: he never talked at youMore example sentences
- This isn't easy to do whilst listening and talking at someone else.
- They talk at rather than listen to customers; they don't interact with them and offer new products or services.
- The time has come to have an NHS where the patients are listened to and not talked at.
- Reply defiantly or insolently: all children talk back and act up from time to time he was always talking back to Dad about choresMore example sentences
- Someone here said how their parents taught them to talk back if they disagreed with something.
- He is the sort who talks back, but I think it is fine to have a bit of character.
- She does an impression of a tough gal waiting tables in a diner, wearing the uniform with the name-badge and feistily talking back to the guy serving up food through the hatch.
talk down to
- Speak patronizingly or condescendingly to: there’s an art to informing people without talking down or pandering to themMore example sentences
- I hate being talked down to, patronised and being told what is right and what is wrong.
- I don't want to be talked down to in such a condescending way.
- It carries information that is relevant to their lives, it's fun and it's written in a way that does not patronise or talk down to them.
talk something out
- British (In Parliament) block the course of a bill by prolonging discussion to the time of adjournment.More example sentences
- Most private members' bills are talked out before reaching a vote, and on average only eight such bills have been passed in post-war Parliaments.
- Last week, partly thanks to Government opposition, the MP saw his Referendum Bill fail in the House of Commons after it was talked out.
- In Ontario, David Croll did introduce a private member's bill in 1939, but it was talked out during the last pre-war session.
talk someone out of
- Persuade someone not to do (something unwise).More example sentences
- Even a stranger passing by a fighting couple could talk them out of the quarrel.
- Neither could his Son who tried to talk him out of the trip.
- In the end, he talked her out of suicide.
talk someone round (or US around)
- Bring someone to a particular point of view by talking: you could never talk him round, he was very decidedMore example sentences
- Or maybe we can talk him around with one more argument; or perhaps his new colleagues can talk him around.
- I didn't really want to go, but he talked me round.
- I kept wanting to break it off but somehow he always talked me round.
talk someone through
- Enable someone to perform (a task) by giving them continuous instruction: the two presenters talk you through hanging different types of paperMore example sentences
- He signaled the tow team supervisor to stop the operation and then got in the cab of the tow vehicle with the driver and talked him through this complicated task.
- The solicitor talked us through all the legal steps and helped us draw up a will.
- Jenna used scissors to cut the cord and at the same time we rang for an ambulance and they talked us through what to do until they arrived.
talk something over (or through)
- Discuss something thoroughly: Collins wanted to talk over our arrangements for doing the work he needed to spend time talking through his feelingsMore example sentences
- One of the best parts of the movie for me was talking the movie over with friends, discussing our own interpretations.
- As to the secret of 60 years of marriage, Ronald says: ‘We discussed everything and we talked our problems over.’
- You can stay the whole break if you wish, Rose and I have thoroughly talked it over.
- Reprimand or scold (someone): someone will have to talk to LilyMore example sentences
- He let us take turns riding in the trailer until a traffic cop stopped and talked to us.
talk someone/thing up (or down)
- Discuss someone or something in a way that makes them seem more (or less) interesting or attractive: he is talking up the company to stock analysts he has become feted by the fashionable and been talked up generallyMore example sentences
- If you are in the business of flogging houses, it is in your financial interest to talk the market up.
- It's not even especially interestingly designed, despite attempts to try and talk it up.
- He talks people down, stretches the truth, ignores or denies uncomfortable facts, is blatantly rude to anyone to questions him.