verb (used without object), chat·ted, chat·ting.
  1. to converse in a familiar or informal manner.
  2. Digital Technology. to participate with one or more people, through the Internet, in a real-time conversation, typically as a series of short text exchanges in a specific application, as instant messaging, or by using images, voice, video, or some combination of these: The kids were able to chat with their grandma online. Join our online community to chat about TV shows.
  1. informal conversation: We had a pleasant chat.
  2. Digital Technology. a real-time conversation, as between two or more people or between a representative of a business and a customer, over the Internet or other network: Join our free video chat.See also instant messaging, chat room.
  3. any of several small Old World thrushes, especially of the genus Saxicola, having a chattering cry.
  4. yellow-breasted chat.
  1. Digital Technology. noting or relating to an online chat: a chat session.
Verb Phrases
  1. chat up, Chiefly British.
    1. to talk flirtatiously with.
    2. to talk to in a friendly, open way.

Origin of chat

1400–50; late Middle English; short for chatter
Related formschat·ta·ble, adjective

Synonyms for chat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for chat up

chat up

verb (tr, adverb) British informal
  1. to talk flirtatiously to (a person), esp with the intention of seducing him or her
  2. to talk persuasively to (a person), esp with an ulterior motive


  1. informal conversation or talk conducted in an easy familiar manner
  2. the exchange of messages in an internet or other network chatroom
  3. any Old World songbird of the subfamily Turdinae (thrushes, etc) having a harsh chattering crySee also stonechat, whinchat
  4. any of various North American warblers, such as Icteria virens (yellow-breasted chat)
  5. any of various Australian wrens (family Muscicapidae) of the genus Ephthianura and other genera
verb chats, chatting or chatted (intr)
  1. to talk in an easy familiar way
  2. to exchange messages in a chatroom
See also chat up

Word Origin for chat

C16: short for chatter


  1. archaic, or dialect a catkin, esp a willow catkin

Word Origin for chat

C15: from French chat cat, referring to the furry appearance
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

Word Origin and History for chat up



1520s, "chatter, frivolous talk;" see chat (v.). Meaning "familiar conversation" is from 1570s. Chat show, for what in U.S. is a talk show, attested from 1969. Chat room in the online sense is attested by 1994, from the days when AOL ruled the Web.



mid-15c., "talk idly, babble," short for chatter (v.). Meaning "to converse familiarly" is from 1550s. Sense of "flirt with, ingratiate oneself with" (in later use often with up (adv.)) is from 1898. Related: Chatted; chatting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with chat up

chat up


Talk flirtatiously to, as in Leave it to Charlie to chat up the girls. This usage is mostly but not entirely British. [Late 1800s]


Engage in light, friendly talk, as in He was soon chatting up all the board members. [Mid-1900s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.