[ kon-fer-uhns, -fruhns ]
/ ˈkɒn fər əns, -frəns /


a meeting for consultation or discussion: a conference between a student and his adviser.
the act of conferring or consulting together; consultation, especially on an important or serious matter.
Government. a meeting, as of various committees, to settle disagreements between the two branches of the legislature.
an association of athletic teams; league: an intercollegiate conference.
  1. an official assembly of clergy or of clergy and laity, customary in many Christian denominations.
  2. a group of churches whose representatives regularly meet in such an assembly.

verb (used without object), con·fer·enced, con·fer·enc·ing.

to hold or participate in a conference or series of conferences.

Origin of conference

From the Medieval Latin word conferentia, dating back to 1530–40. See confer, -ence

Related forms

con·fer·en·tial [kon-fuh-ren-shuhl] /ˌkɒn fəˈrɛn ʃəl/, adjectivepre·con·fer·ence, nounsub·con·fer·ence, nounsub·con·fer·en·tial, adjective

Synonym study

1. See convention. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for conference

British Dictionary definitions for conference


/ (ˈkɒnfərəns, -frəns) /


a meeting for consultation, exchange of information, or discussion, esp one with a formal agenda
a formal meeting of two or more states, political groups, etc, esp to discuss differences or formulate common policy
an assembly of the clergy or of clergy and laity of any of certain Protestant Christian Churches acting as representatives of their denominationthe Methodist conference
sport a league or division of clubs or teams
rare an act of bestowal

Derived Forms

conferential (ˌkɒnfəˈrɛnʃəl), adjective

Word Origin for conference

C16: from Medieval Latin conferentia, from Latin conferre to bring together; see confer
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