Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To exchange thoughts or opinions in spoken or sign language; converse: synonym: speak.
  • intransitive verb To utter or pronounce words.
  • intransitive verb To imitate the sounds of human speech.
  • intransitive verb To express one's thoughts or emotions by means of spoken language.
  • intransitive verb To convey one's thoughts in a way other than by spoken words.
  • intransitive verb To express one's thoughts or feelings in writing.
  • intransitive verb Usage Problem To convey information in text.
  • intransitive verb To negotiate with someone; parley.
  • intransitive verb To consult or confer with someone.
  • intransitive verb To spread rumors; gossip.
  • intransitive verb To allude to something.
  • intransitive verb To reveal information concerning oneself or others, especially under pressure.
  • intransitive verb Informal To be efficacious.
  • intransitive verb To utter or pronounce (words).
  • intransitive verb To speak about or discuss (something) or give expression to (something).
  • intransitive verb Used to emphasize the extent or seriousness of something being mentioned.
  • intransitive verb To speak or know how to speak (a language or a language variety).
  • intransitive verb To cause (someone) to be in a certain state or to do something by talking.
  • noun An exchange of ideas or opinions; a conversation.
  • noun A speech or lecture.
  • noun Hearsay, rumor, or speculation.
  • noun A subject of conversation.
  • noun A conference or negotiation.
  • noun A particular manner of speech.
  • noun Empty speech or unnecessary discussion.
  • noun Jargon or slang.
  • noun Something, such as the sounds of animals, felt to resemble human talk.
  • idiom (talk big) To brag.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English talken; see del- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English talken, talkien, from Old English *tealcian (“to talk, chat”), from Proto-Germanic *talkōnan (“to talk, chatter”), frequentative form of Proto-Germanic *talōnan (“to count, recount, tell”), from Proto-Indo-European *dol-, *del- (“to aim, calculate, adjust, count”). Cognate with Scots talk ("to talk"), Eastern Frisian talken ("to talk, chat"), Low German Talk ("talk"). Related also to Danish tale ("to talk, speak"), Swedish tala ("to talk, speak, say, chatter"), Icelandic tala ("to talk"), Old English talian ("to count, calculate, reckon, account, consider, think, esteem, value; argue; tell, relate; impute, assign"). More at tale.

Examples

  • Now I'm going to continue educating my 8 month old on love the world, but don't talk to strangers..talk to me about sex..

    "Prop 8 - The Musical"

  • Of the slew of candidates and wannabee candidates running for the grand prize of President, how many really \ 'talk the talk\', let alone \ 'walk the walk\'?

    While Rome Burns

  • Talkers talk or speak _words_ or _talk_; Walkers walk _walkings_ or _walks_; The rain rains

    English Grammar in Familiar Lectures

  • Verbs are inflected or changed to indicate the time of the action as past, present, or future; as, _I talk, I talked, I shall talk_, etc.

    Practical Grammar and Composition

  • Momentous questions should be thrust aside until later, and the talk should be -- well, _talk_, not arguing, quarreling, or scandal-mongering.

    The Book of Business Etiquette

  • And yet these momentary chances we covet; and spend our years, and passions, and powers in pursuit of little more than these; while, meantime, there is a society continually open to us, of people who will talk to us as long as we like, whatever our rank or occupation; —talk to us in the best words they can choose, and of the things nearest their hearts.

    Sesame and Lilies. Lecture I.-Sesame: Of Kings’ Treasuries

  • Join a debating society -- talk, _talk_, _TALK_, and always extemporize.

    The Art of Public Speaking

  • The Happy Hexagons met, of course, to study Texas, and to talk Texas; though, as Bertha Brown's brother, Charlie, somewhat impertinently declared, they did not need to meet to _talk_ Texas -- they did that without any meeting!

    The Sunbridge Girls at Six Star Ranch

  • Then he began to talk -- to _talk_, not to preach, speaking every word with an inflection of the truest sincerity.

    The Lady of the Basement Flat

  • "I beg of you in God's name to talk to me -- to _talk_ to me!"

    The Finer Grain

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • It is practically impossible to stop talking. Life is expecting you to talk; Life has arranged things in such a way that almost everyone is expected to and will talk incessantly and specifically about their living. They will talk all day about, "what kind of guy I am" and "what's happened to me." Talk is expected and Life is dependent upon it.

    Jan Cox

    October 8, 2007

  • Oh, be quiet, oroboros. ;->

    October 8, 2007