Meaning of “talk” in the English Dictionary

"talk" in British English

See all translations

talkverb [ I ]

uk /tɔːk/ us /tɑːk/

talk verb [ I ] (SAY WORDS)

A1 to say words aloud; to speak to someone:

We were just talking about Gareth's new girlfriend.
My little girl has just started to talk.
She talks to her mother on the phone every week.

More examples

  • You're not allowed to talk during the exam.
  • The argument was upsetting for us all - I don't want to talk about it.
  • Could I talk to you about a personal matter?
  • He didn't talk about his exam results in case people thought he was boasting.
  • She waves her hands around a lot when she's talking.


uk /tɔːk/ us /tɑːk/

B1 [ C ] a conversation between two people, often about a particular subject:

I asked him to have a talk with his mother about his plan.

B2 [ C ] a speech given to a group of people to teach or tell them about a particular subject:

He gave a talk about/on his visit to Malaysia.
talks C2 [ plural ]

serious and formal discussions on an important subject, usually intended to produce decisions or agreements:

Talks were held in Madrid about the fuel crisis.

C2 [ U ] the action of talking about what might happen or be true, or the subject people are talking about:

Talk won't get us anywhere.
The talk/Her talk was all about the wedding.

More examples

  • He gave a talk on the representation of women in 19th-century art.
  • We need to have another talk about this - can we meet later this afternoon?
  • Our talk soon veered onto the subject of football.
  • She was nervous about giving a talk to her colleagues, but she carried it off very well.
  • I had to have a talk to her about a complaint that was made about her work.

(Definition of “talk” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"talk" in American English

See all translations

talkverb [ I/T ]

us /tɔk/

talknoun [ C/U ]

us /tɔk/

talk noun [ C/U ] (SAY WORDS)

a conversation between two people, often about a particular subject; the act of talking:

[ U ] Talk won’t get us anywhere.
[ C ] I had a talk with my boss.
[ C ] Sarah gave a talk (= a speech before a group of people) on skyscrapers.
[ U ] I’ve heard talk of a layoff (= unofficial information about it).

Talks are official discussions between organizations or countries:

[ C ] Contract talks between the airline and the union began today.

(Definition of “talk” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"talk" in Business English

See all translations

talkverb [ I ]

uk /tɔːk/ us

to say things or speak to someone:

talk about/of sth In Tokyo markets, the only thing people want to talk about is the budget problem.
talk to/with sb I need to talk to the Sales Manager directly.
She was talking on the phone to her co-worker.
talk business/politics, etc.

to discuss a particular subject:

At the dinner table, everyone was talking interest rate hikes and unemployment numbers.
be talking sth informal

used to emphasize that you are referring to something serious or important, a large amount of money, etc.:

We're talking big money here - £200 an hour.
How long - are we talking five years or are we talking 30 years?
talk shop

to talk about work with people you work with when you are not at work:

I hate those office parties where everyone talks shop.
talk the talk informal

to be able to speak with the confidence and knowledge of someone who knows a lot about a particular subject:

He can certainly talk the talk, but will he get the deal done?
talk turkey US informal

to discuss something in a direct way without avoiding difficult issues:

Few politicians are willing to talk turkey about immigration.


uk /tɔːk/ us

[ C ] an occasion when someone speaks to a group of people about a particular subject:

A speaker is coming in to give a talk to the sales team.
a talk about/on sth We listened to a talk about resources in the local economy.
talks [ plural ]

GOVERNMENT, MANAGEMENT, HR serious and formal discussions on an important subject usually intended to produce decisions or agreements:

The latest round of talks ended today.
begin/have/hold talks We held talks with the union about pay increases.
in talks The two companies are in talks about a merger.
talks about sth The studio broke off talks about a movie distribution deal.
talks between sb Talks between the two nations have resulted in a new trade deal.

[ U ] things people are saying about what might happen or be true:

talk of sth She dismissed the talk of her resignation as nonsense.
There has been talk of closing some regional offices.

See also

(Definition of “talk” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)