Con`ver*sa"tion (?), n. [OE. conversacio (in senses 1 & 2), OF. conversacion, F. conversation, fr. L. conversatio frequent abode in a place, intercourse, LL. also, manner of life.]

1.

General course of conduct; behavior.

[Archaic]

Let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel. Philip. i. 27.

2.

Familiar intercourse; intimate fellowship or association; close acquaintance.

"Conversation with the best company."

Dryden.

I set down, out of long experience in business and much conversation in books, what I thought pertinent to this business. Bacon.

3.

Commerce; intercourse; traffic.

[Obs.]

All traffic and mutual conversation. Hakluyt.

4.

Colloqual discourse; oral interchange of sentiments and observations; informal dialogue.

The influence exercised by his [Johnson's] conversation was altogether without a parallel. Macaulay.

5.

Sexual intercourse; as, criminal conversation.

Syn. -- Intercourse; communion; commerce; familiarity; discourse; dialogue; colloque; talk; chat. -- Conversation, Talk. There is a looser sense of these words, in which they are synonymous; there is a stricter sense, in which they differ. Talk is usually broken, familiar, and versatile. Conversation is more continuous and sustained, and turns ordinarily upon topics or higher interest. Children talk to their parents or to their companions; men converse together in mixed assemblies. Dr. Johnson once remarked, of an evening spent in society, that there had been a great deal of talk, but no conversation.

 

© Webster 1913.

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