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2017 Word of the Year

small-talk

[smawl-tawk] /ˈsmɔlˌtɔk/
verb (used without object)
1.
to engage in or have a propensity for small talk.
Origin of small-talk
1780-1790
First recorded in 1780-90

small talk

noun
1.
light conversation; chitchat.
Origin
First recorded in 1745-55
Synonyms
banter, chatter, gossip.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for small-talk
Historical Examples
  • A crisis was expected—but Lady Harriet's small-talk did not suffer.

    Double Harness Anthony Hope
  • All this small-talk almost vexed me more than the content it gave.

    The Maid of Sker Richard Doddridge Blackmore
  • Letitia tried to include me in the small-talk, but she did not succeed.

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
  • But I was still "Sir" to him and he hardly "Chummy" to me, and our small-talk was quite small.

    A Case in Camera

    Oliver Onions
  • Does she turn you if you have failed to learn your small-talk correctly?

  • All his smiles and flow of small-talk had suddenly deserted him.

  • George had met her once in the way of small-talk at her father's house.

    The Roll-Call Arnold Bennett
  • I can't accustom myself to small-talk—I can't even listen to it patiently.

    One Day Anonymous
  • Fortunately too, when the interval came, she was full of small-talk.

  • small-talk was forgotten, heads were craned forward, and all eyes were fixed upon the players.

British Dictionary definitions for small-talk

small talk

noun
1.
light conversation for social occasions
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for small-talk

small talk

noun phrase

Talk, esp relaxed and idle conversation; phatic communion; chin music, chitchat: He's very serious and has a hard time making small talk (1751+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with small-talk

small talk

Casual or trivial conversation, chitchat, as in We stood around making small talk until the guest of honor arrived. The small in this expression alludes to unimportant subjects of conversation, as opposed to serious or weighty ones. [ Mid-1700s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Nearby words for small-talk

Word Value for small

7
10
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