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Idioms about talk

Origin of talk

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English talk(i)en “to converse, speak,” derivative (with -k suffix) of tale “speech, discourse,” tale; cognate with Frisian (eastern dialect) talken

synonym study for talk

1. See speak.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of talk?

Talk means to use speech in order to communicate or exchange ideas. Talk also means to gossip. As a noun talk refers to a conversation. Talk has many other senses as both a verb and a noun.

When you talk, you use spoken language to communicate rather than gestures or written words. People talk to each other every day when they have chats, tell jokes, argue, or negotiate.

  • Real-life examples: You talked to someone today if you spoke to them about something. It is common for people to talk to each other over the phone or by using live video. People often get lonely when they have no one to talk to.
  • Used in a sentence: When Juan talked to his parents about his grades, he felt better.

Talk can also mean to spread rumors or gossip. When you talk about someone, you are not talking to them but to other people.

  • Used in a sentence: The mysterious new building on the edge of town got people talking about what it would be used for. 

Talk used in this same sense as a noun means gossip or rumors.

  • Used in a sentence: There’s talk around the studio that the director is working on a secret movie project. 

Talk is also used as a noun to mean a conversation or a discussion.

  • Used in a sentence: I had a serious talk with my daughter about sneaking animals into the house. 

Where does talk come from?

The first records of talk come from around 1175. It comes from the Middle English verb talkien. It is related to the Old English talu, meaning “tale.”

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What are some other forms related to talk?

  • talkable (adjective)
  • talkability (noun)
  • talker (noun)
  • intertalk (verb)
  • nontalker (noun)
  • overtalk (verb)

What are some synonyms for talk?

What are some words that share a root or word element with talk

What are some words that often get used in discussing talk?

How is talk used in real life?

Talk is a very common word that most often means to communicate using speech.

Try using talk!

Is talk used correctly in the following sentence?

He decided to talk to his wife about buying a dog, and they discussed it for a long time.

How to use talk in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for talk

/ (tɔːk) /


Derived forms of talk

talkable, adjectivetalkability, nountalker, noun

Word Origin for talk

C13 talkien to talk; related to Old English talu tale, Frisian talken to talk
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with talk


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