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See more synonyms for talking-to on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural talk·ing-tos.
  1. a scolding.
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Origin of talking-to

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for talking-to

sermon, condemnation, admonition, censure, disapproval, snub, reproach, punishment, rebuff, rebuke, quarrel, trouble, controversy, squabble, dispute, scolding, going-over, castigation, preaching, reprimand

Examples from the Web for talking-to

Contemporary Examples of talking-to

Historical Examples of talking-to

  • He gave them a talking-to that was more emphatic than choice in its language.

  • Let him pay, the beggar, its his own fault, and Ill give him a talking-to.

    Egholm and his God

    Johannes Buchholtz

  • "Well—that talking-to you gave me has had its effect," proceeded Mrs. Fitzhugh.

    The Grain Of Dust

    David Graham Phillips

  • For it had been about the “Novum” that Stan had given Strong that talking-to.

    Gray youth

    Oliver Onions

  • For it had been about the "Novum" that Stan had given Strong that talking-to.

    A Crooked Mile

    Oliver Onions

British Dictionary definitions for talking-to


  1. informal a session of criticism, as of the work or attitude of a subordinate by a person in authority
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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