[ tawk-bak ]

nounRadio and Television.
  1. a communications system enabling those in the studio to hear control-room personnel through a loudspeaker or headphones.

Origin of talk-back

Noun use of verb phrase talk back

Words Nearby talk-back Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use talk-back in a sentence

  • Never was a man so grateful as Mr. Bixby was: because he was brim full, and here were subjects who would talk back.

    Life On The Mississippi, Complete | Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
  • "Ye'll be tired afore ye git home," he persisted, encouraged by finding that she would talk back at him.

    Earth's Enigmas | Charles G. D. Roberts
  • You could utter a word and it would talk back at you for fifteen minutes, when the day was otherwise quiet.

    Alonzo Fitz and Other Stories | Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

British Dictionary definitions for talk back

talk back

verb(intr, adverb)
  1. to answer boldly or impudently

  2. NZ to conduct a telephone dialogue for immediate transmission over the air

  1. television radio a system of telephone links enabling spoken directions to be given during the production of a programme

  2. NZ

    • a broadcast telephone dialogue

    • (as modifier): a talkback show

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-back


Also, answer back. Reply rudely or impertinently, as in She was always in trouble for talking back, or The teacher won't allow anyone to answer back to her. [Second half of 1800s]

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