Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Verbal expression in speech or writing.
  • noun Verbal exchange or conversation.
  • noun A formal, lengthy treatment of a subject, either written or spoken.
  • noun Archaic The process or power of reasoning.
  • intransitive verb To speak or write formally and at length. synonym: speak.
  • intransitive verb To engage in conversation or discussion; converse.
  • intransitive verb To narrate or discuss.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To hold discourse; communicate thoughts or ideas orally, especially in a formal manner; treat in a set manner; hold forth; expatiate; converse: as, to discourse on the properties of the circle; the preacher discoursed on the nature and effect of faith.
  • To treat of or discuss a subject in a formal manner in writing.
  • To narrate; give a relation; tell.
  • To reason; argue from premises to consequences.
  • To treat of; talk over; discuss.
  • To utter or give forth.
  • To talk or confer with.
  • noun A running over a subject in speech; hence, a communication of thoughts by words; expression of ideas; mutual intercourse; talk; conversation.
  • noun A running over in the mind of premises and deducing of conclusions; the exercise of, or an act of exercising, the logical or reasoning faculty; hence, the power of reasoning from premises; rationality.
  • noun A formal discussion or treatment of a subjeet; a dissertation, treatise, homily, sermon, or the like: as, the discourse of Plutarch on garrulity, of Cicero on old age; an eloquent discourse.
  • noun Debate; contention; strife.
  • noun Intercourse; dealing; transaction.
  • noun That sort of mental operation, performed by one person or by several, in which a line of thought is followed out.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun obsolete The power of the mind to reason or infer by running, as it were, from one fact or reason to another, and deriving a conclusion; an exercise or act of this power; reasoning; range of reasoning faculty.
  • noun Conversation; talk.
  • noun The art and manner of speaking and conversing.
  • noun Consecutive speech, either written or unwritten, on a given line of thought; speech; treatise; dissertation; sermon, etc..
  • noun obsolete Dealing; transaction.
  • intransitive verb obsolete To exercise reason; to employ the mind in judging and inferring; to reason.
  • intransitive verb To express one's self in oral discourse; to expose one's views; to talk in a continuous or formal manner; to hold forth; to speak; to converse.
  • intransitive verb To relate something; to tell.
  • intransitive verb To treat of something in writing and formally.
  • transitive verb obsolete To treat of; to expose or set forth in language.
  • transitive verb To utter or give forth; to speak.
  • transitive verb obsolete To talk to; to confer with.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun uncountable, archaic Verbal exchange, conversation.
  • noun uncountable Expression in words, either speech or writing.
  • noun countable A formal lengthy exposition of some subject, either spoken or written.
  • noun countable Any rational expression, reason.
  • noun social sciences, countable An institutionalized way of thinking, a social boundary defining what can be said about a specific topic (after Michel Foucault).
  • verb intransitive To engage in discussion or conversation; to converse.
  • verb intransitive To write or speak formally and at length.
  • verb obsolete (transitive) To debate.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb to consider or examine in speech or writing
  • noun extended verbal expression in speech or writing
  • verb talk at length and formally about a topic
  • noun an address of a religious nature (usually delivered during a church service)
  • noun an extended communication (often interactive) dealing with some particular topic
  • verb carry on a conversation

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English discours, process of reasoning, from Medieval Latin discursus, from Latin, a running about, from past participle of discurrere, to run about : dis-, apart; see dis– + currere, to run; see kers- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Either from French discours, or a direct alteration of Late Latin discursus ("the act of running about") , itself from discurrō ("run about"), from dis- ("apart") + currō ("run").

Examples

  • The title discourse furnishes a central theme to which those following stand in relation.

    Modern Religious Cults and Movements

  • Critically, the crux of the entire process in the development of these works was for Ravi the concept of Sannidhi which in traditional Indian aesthetic discourse translates as 'proximity' or 'close by' or 'in the presence'.

    The Hindu - Front Page

  • Critically, the crux of the entire process in the development of these works was for Ravi the concept of Sannidhi which in traditional Indian aesthetic discourse translates as 'proximity' or 'close by' or 'in the presence'.

    The Hindu - Front Page

  • Her book, which first appeared in French in 2008, combines three strands: a study of events; a detailed account of the social, economic, religious, cultural, political and administrative context of 12th-century Syria and Egypt; and an unrelenting investigation of what she calls the "discourse."

    The Crusaders' Favorite Muslim

  • How it shapes our discourse is a worthy topic for consideration.

    I'd Rather Let The Flowers Keep Doing What They Do Best

  • All that comes from debasing the discourse is a spoiled public forum.

    Think Progress » ThinkFast: January 11, 2010

  • By the way, using a script exotic to a discourse is a gratuitous and low form of argument.

    Any experience with San Francisco consulate?

  • I am the bread of life -- Henceforth the discourse is all in the first person, "I," "Me," which occur in one form or other, as Stier reckons, thirty-five times. he that cometh to me -- to obtain what the soul craves, and as the only all-sufficient and ordained source of supply. hunger ... thirst -- shall have conscious and abiding satisfaction.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

  • Like Foucault, Kittler diagnosed the present through what he called discourse analysis - the excavation of the underlying structure of human practices.

    The Guardian World News

  • Severing political discussion from decision and action, however, focuses the locus of Habermasian politics strictly on discussion and what he calls a discourse theory of democracy.

    LeverWealth

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • All that is written and spoken and all that invites dialogue or conversation. (Rosenau, 1992)

    October 10, 2010

  • "A formal discussion or treatment of a subjeet; a dissertation, treatise, homily, sermon, or the like: as, the discourse of Plutarch on garrulity, of Cicero on old age; an eloquent discourse."

    -CD&C

    March 23, 2012

  • this course Off Corsica, of course

    March 23, 2012