- 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 for discourse on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for discourse
His discourse is now more detailed: submission, which is the meaning of islam in Arabic, gives him a kind of enjoyment.Houellebecq’s Incendiary Novel Imagines France With a Muslim President
January 9, 2015
The dire fatalism that dominated the discourse then is gone, replaced largely with a practiced apathy.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley
Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman
November 15, 2014
Is it the faculty of reason, or perhaps, the faculty for discourse?The Bioethicist Turned Butcher
September 28, 2014
Several stubborn ideas have steered much of the discourse around health care.Can Fitbit Data Save Lives?
August 26, 2014
But if you choose to conduct your discourse in 140-word snaps, or soundbites, then you reap the crop of dumb that you sow.Why We Should Hate 'Haters Gonna Hate'
August 25, 2014
To Alec Haskell I shall in this discourse again have occasion to refer.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
It is sweet and refreshing to pursue our old subjects of discourse.
Making notes of them for ourselves we discourse of them to others.The Conquest of Fear
We understand how to discourse upon diseases when we have that dress?The Imaginary Invalid
"We're havin' a dish o' discourse," returned Nicholas quietly.Tiverton Tales
- 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 discourse
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.