[ noun dis-kawrs, -kohrs, dis-kawrs, -kohrs; verb dis-kawrs, -kohrs ]
/ noun ˈdɪs kɔrs, -koʊrs, dɪsˈkɔrs, -ˈkoʊrs; verb dɪsˈkɔrs, -ˈkoʊrs /
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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.
verb (used without object), dis·coursed, dis·cours·ing.
to communicate thoughts orally; talk; converse.
to treat of a subject formally in speech or writing.
verb (used with object), dis·coursed, dis·cours·ing.
to utter or give forth (musical sounds).
OTHER WORDS FOR discourse
1 discussion, colloquy, dialogue, chat, parley.
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Origin of discourse
1325–75; Middle English discours<Medieval Latin discursus (spelling by influence of Middle English cours course), Late Latin: conversation, Latin: a running to and fro, equivalent to discur(rere) to run about (dis-dis-1 + currere to run) + -sus for -tus suffix of v. action
OTHER WORDS FROM discoursedis·cours·er, nounpre·dis·course, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use discourse in a sentence
Contemporary political discourses may enter the flow of landays in simple, direct language.Beauty and Subversion in the Secret Poems of Afghan Women|Daniel Bosch|April 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The debate proved a study not so much in contrasting ideologies as in competing discourses.Israel’s New Election Discourse|Don Futterman|January 8, 2013|DAILY BEAST
This was my sincere endeavor, in those many discourses I had with that monarch, although it unfortunately failed of success.Gulliver's Travels|Jonathan Swift
But the spirit of allegory, which has never been lost, may be traced throughout these barbarous discourses.
The discourses of our modern preachers are not disfigured by similar faults.
To convince the congregation that swearing was far from being a sin, this gentleman constantly practised it in his own discourses.A Cursory History of Swearing|Julian Sharman
Your reason will do more than my discourses, and I sincerely wish that we had only to complain of being deceived!Superstition In All Ages (1732)|Jean Meslier
British Dictionary definitions for discourse
noun (ˈdɪskɔːs, dɪsˈkɔːs)
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)
Derived forms of discoursediscourser, noun
Word Origin for discourse
C14: from Medieval Latin discursus argument, from Latin: a running to and fro, from discurrere to run different ways, from dis- 1 + currere to run
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