- communication of thought by words; talk; conversation: earnest and intelligent discourse.
- a formal discussion of a subject in speech or writing, as a dissertation, treatise, sermon, etc.
- Linguistics. any unit of connected speech or writing longer than a sentence.
- to communicate thoughts orally; talk; converse.
- to treat of a subject formally in speech or writing.
- to utter or give forth (musical sounds).
Origin of discourse
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for discourses
In his discourses he was neither an extempore preacher, nor did he read.A Sketch of the Life of Brig. Gen. Francis Marion
William Dobein James
My discourses were sometimes off-hand and sometimes studied.Biography of a Slave
We gather up the fragments of His discourses, but neither do they represent Him as He truly was.The Republic
For I have been exceedingly delighted to hear the discourses which you have just been holding.Eryxias
An Imitator of Plato
But these discourses are contrary to all proceedings of this nature.The Shadow of a Crime
- verbal communication; talk; conversation
- a formal treatment of a subject in speech or writing, such as a sermon or dissertation
- a unit of text used by linguists for the analysis of linguistic phenomena that range over more than one sentence
- archaic the ability to reason or the reasoning process
- (intr; often foll by on or upon) to speak or write (about) formally and extensively
- (intr) to hold a discussion
- (tr) archaic to give forth (music)
Word Origin and History for discourses
late 14c., "process of understanding, reasoning, thought," from French discours, from Latin discursus "a running about," in Late Latin "conversation," from past participle stem of discurrere "run about," from dis- "apart" (see dis-) + currere "to run" (see current (adj.)). Sense of "formal speech or writing" is first recorded 1580s.
1540s, from discourse (n.). Related: Discoursed; discoursing.