ADJ. brief, short | lengthy, long We engaged in a long conversation. | endless listening to endless conversations about high prices and food shortages | casual, everyday, general, informal, normal, ordinary It's not a subject that often crops up in casual conversation. | intimate, personal, private | face-to-face | overheard, recorded, taped | phone/telephone | civilized, polite We sat making polite conversation and feeling rather uncomfortable. | friendly, pleasant | animated | fascinating, good, intelligent, interesting, stimulating He said that television had been the death of good conversation. | proper, real, serious There was no time away from the topic of money. She turned the conversation to her work. | enter, join (in) | break off | conclude, end, finish | avoid She avoided conversation with the other passengers. | encourage I was courteous but didn't encourage conversation. | hear, listen to, overhear | interrupt | resume | have no a plain girl who had no conversation (= could not make conversation) and no social graces
CONVERSATION + VERB take place When did this conversation take place? | continue, proceed The conversation proceeded in French. | flow They all relaxed and conversation flowed freely. | come back/round to, drift, move on (to), switch, turn to, veer back/off The conversation drifted for a proper conversation. | simple When you are struggling with an unfamiliar language, the simplest cinto family chat. The | strange | chance A chance conversation led to a brilliant new career for the young catering student. | desultory, halting, stilted We carried on a rather halting conversation. | hushed, low-voiced, murmured, muted, muttered, quiet, whispered | shouted | one-sided, two-way Think of prayer as a two-way conversation. | imaginary | after-dinner | adult Young children become quickly bored by adult conversation.
QUANT. snatch I overheard snatches of a conversation between two doctors.
VERB + CONVERSATION carry on, have, hold, make You can't hold a private conversation there. I tried to make conversation with the three silent people round the table. | begin, draw sb into, engage sb in, fall into, get into, open, start, strike up I got into conversation with one of the directors. He was waiting for her to open the conversation. I was keen to strike up a conversation with him. | be deep in, be engaged in They were deep in conversation and didn't notice the time. | continue, keep up Cara kept up a one-sided conversation. | control, dominate | bring around/round, steer, turn I managed to bring the conversation round to why they were leaving. He tried to steer the conversation conversation moved on to other things. The conversation turned to holidays in France. | cease, end, stop All conversation ceased and everyone turned round. The conversation ended when the vacuum cleaner started up. | run out All too soon the stilted conversation ran out.
PREP. during ~ In the Western world it is polite to maintain eye contact during conversation. | in ~ with In the programme tonight we hear Dr Chris Toole in conversation with the artist Mary Witherspoon. | ~ about We had a long conversation about old cars. | ~ between a conversation between Jane and her parents | ~ on a conversation on the topic of activities for children | ~ with I had an interesting conversation with Dick Whortly.
PHRASES an attempt at conversation She ignored all my attempts at conversation. | be in close/deep/earnest conversation (with sb) Don was in close conversation with the girl on his right. | a babble/buzz/hum of conversation She could hear him over the buzz of conversation and laughter. | during the course of (the) conversation During the course of conversation, it emerged that Sheila had lived in Nigeria. | keep the conversation going Our hostess did her best to keep the conversation going. | a lull in the conversation, a topic of conversation The main topic of conversation was the big football match.