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on speaking terms

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1

Friendly enough to exchange superficial remarks, as in We're on speaking terms with the new neighbors.

2

Ready and willing to communicate, not alienated or estranged. For example, We are on speaking terms again after the quarrel. Both senses of this idiom commonly occur in the negative, as in Brett and his brother haven't been on speaking terms for years. The idiom was first recorded in 1786.

QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
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Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

How to use on speaking terms in a sentence

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