What does discourse mean?

Definitions for discourseˈdɪs kɔrs, -koʊrs, dɪsˈkɔrs, -ˈkoʊrs; dɪsˈkɔrs, -ˈkoʊrs

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word discourse.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. discourse(noun)

    extended verbal expression in speech or writing

  2. sermon, discourse, preaching(noun)

    an address of a religious nature (usually delivered during a church service)

  3. discussion, treatment, discourse(verb)

    an extended communication (often interactive) dealing with some particular topic

    "the book contains an excellent discussion of modal logic"; "his treatment of the race question is badly biased"

  4. discourse, talk about, discuss(verb)

    to consider or examine in speech or writing

    "The author talks about the different aspects of this question"; "The class discussed Dante's `Inferno'"

  5. converse, discourse(verb)

    carry on a conversation

  6. hold forth, discourse, dissertate(verb)

    talk at length and formally about a topic

    "The speaker dissertated about the social politics in 18th century England"


  1. discourse(Noun)

    Verbal exchange, conversation.

  2. discourse(Noun)

    Expression in words, either speech or writing.

  3. discourse(Noun)

    A formal lengthy exposition of some subject, either spoken or written.

  4. discourse(Noun)

    Any rational expression, reason.

  5. discourse(Noun)

    An institutionalized way of thinking, a social boundary defining what can be said about a specific topic (after Michel Foucault).

  6. discourse(Verb)

    To engage in discussion or conversation; to converse.

  7. discourse(Verb)

    To write or speak formally and at length.

  8. discourse(Verb)

    To debate.

  9. Origin: Either from discours, or a direct alteration of discursus , itself from discurro, from dis- + curro.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Discourse(noun)

    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

  2. Discourse(noun)

    conversation; talk

  3. Discourse(noun)

    the art and manner of speaking and conversing

  4. Discourse(noun)

    consecutive speech, either written or unwritten, on a given line of thought; speech; treatise; dissertation; sermon, etc.; as, the preacher gave us a long discourse on duty

  5. Discourse(noun)

    dealing; transaction

  6. Discourse(verb)

    to exercise reason; to employ the mind in judging and inferring; to reason

  7. Discourse(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

  8. Discourse(verb)

    to relate something; to tell

  9. Discourse(verb)

    to treat of something in writing and formally

  10. Discourse(verb)

    to treat of; to expose or set forth in language

  11. Discourse(verb)

    to utter or give forth; to speak

  12. Discourse(verb)

    to talk to; to confer with

  13. Origin: [L. discursus a running to and fro, discourse, fr. discurrere, discursum, to run to and fro, to discourse; dis- + currere to run: cf. F. discours. See Course.]


  1. Discourse

    Discourse denotes written and spoken communications such as: ⁕In semantics and discourse analysis: A generalization of the concept of conversation within all modalities and contexts. ⁕The totality of codified language used in a given field of intellectual enquiry and of social practice, such as legal discourse, medical discourse, religious discourse, et cetera. ⁕In the work of Michel Foucault, and that of the social theoreticians he inspired: discourse describes “an entity of sequences, of signs, in that they are enouncements ”. An enouncement is not a unit of semiotic signs, but an abstract construct that allows the signs to assign and communicate specific, repeatable relations to, between, and among objects, subjects, and statements. Hence, a discourse is composed of semiotic sequences between and among objects, subjects, and statements. The term discursive formation conceptually describes the regular communications that produce such discourses. As a philosopher, Foucault applied the discursive formation in the analyses of large bodies of knowledge, such as political economy and natural history.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Discourse

    dis-kōrs′, n. speech or language generally: conversation: the reasoning faculty: a treatise: a sermon.—v.i. to talk or converse: to reason: to treat formally.—v.t. to utter or give forth.—n. Discours′er (Shak.).—adj. Discours′ive. [Fr. discours—L. discursusdis, away, currĕre, to run.]

Editors Contribution

  1. discourse

    Written or spoken communication or debate.

    "She could discourse at great length on the history of Europe".

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'discourse' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3941

  2. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'discourse' in Nouns Frequency: #1477


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of discourse in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of discourse in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Gael García Bernal:

    There is a discourse of hate.

  2. William Shakespeare, "The Tempest", Act 3 scene 3:

    A kind Of excellent dumb discourse.

  3. Miguel de Cervantes:

    Be brief, for no discourse can please when too long.

  4. Izaak Walton:

    Good company and good discourse are the very sinews of virtue.

  5. Bryant McGill:

    Where wise actions are the fruit of life, wise discourse is the pollination.

Images & Illustrations of discourse

  1. discoursediscoursediscourse

Translations for discourse

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • حديثArabic
  • разговор, докладвам, доклад, дискутирам, разговарям, държа реч, лекцияBulgarian
  • přednáška, pojednávat, rozmlouvat, projev, řeč, rozpravaCzech
  • Abhandlung, Diskurs, Rede, reden, GesprächGerman
  • συνομιλώ, ομιλία, διαλέγομαι, διάλεξη, συνομιλίαGreek
  • discurso, conversaciónSpanish
  • سخنPersian
  • keskustelu, väitellä, diskurssi, ilmaus, tutkielma, keskustella, ajatustenvaihto, käsitellä, järkeilyFinnish
  • discours, conversationFrench
  • שיחHebrew
  • प्रवचनHindi
  • ceramahIndonesian
  • discorsoItalian
  • 対話, 会談, 論文, 会話, デイスクーJapanese
  • 논설Korean
  • sermoLatin
  • discours, rede, discussie, converseren, uiting, spreken, betoog, conversatie, gesprek, gedachtenwisseling, bespreken, verhandeling, redevoeringDutch
  • discurso, discussãoPortuguese
  • conversație, discursRomanian
  • разумность, разговор, беседа, дискурс, речь, трактат, доклад, рациональность, лекцияRussian
  • diskursSwedish
  • گفتگوUrdu

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"discourse." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 19 Feb. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/discourse>.

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