discourse

1. noun

Two or three of the gentlemen sat near him, and I caught at times scraps of their conversation across the room. At first I could not make much sense of what I heard; for the discourse of Louisa Eshton and Mary Ingram, who sat nearer to me, confused the fragmentary sentences that reached me at intervals.

b) Expression in words, either speech or writing.
See Also: course, discursive
2. verb
b) To write or speak formally and at length.

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  • discourse — n Discourse, treatise, disquisition, dissertation, thesis, monograph designate in common a systematic, serious, and often learned consideration of a subject or topic. Discourse, the widest of these terms, may refer to something written or spoken… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Discourse — Dis*course , n. [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. The power of the mind to reason or infer by running, as it were,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • discourse — discourse, discourse analysis The study of language , its structure, functions, and patterns in use. For Ferdinand de Saussure , language in use (or parole) could not serve as the object of study for linguistics, since as compared tolangue (the… …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Discourse — Dis*course , v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Discoursed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Discoursing}.] 1. To exercise reason; to employ the mind in judging and inferring; to reason. [Obs.] Have sense or can discourse. Dryden. [1913 Webster] 2. To express one s self in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Discourse — Dis*course , v. t. 1. To treat of; to expose or set forth in language. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] The life of William Tyndale . . . is sufficiently and at large discoursed in the book. Foxe. [1913 Webster] 2. To utter or give forth; to speak. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • discourse — [n] dialogue; dissertation address, article, chat, communication, conversation, converse, descant, discussion, disquisition, essay, gabfest*, homily, huddle, lecture, memoir, monograph, monologue, oration, paper, rhetoric, sermon, speaking,… …   New thesaurus

  • discourse — [dis′kôrs΄; ] also, & for v. usually [, dis kôrs′] n. [ME & OFr discours < L discursus, discourse < pp. of discurrere, to run to and fro < dis , from, apart + currere, to run: see CURRENT] 1. communication of ideas, information, etc.,… …   English World dictionary

  • discourse — I noun address, allocution, argument, argumentation, commentary, conference, conlocutio, conloquium, conversation, declamation, dialogue, discussion, disquisition, dissertation, elucidation, exchange of views, excursus, exhortation, exposition,… …   Law dictionary

  • discourse — (n.) late 14c., process of understanding, reasoning, thought, from Fr. discours, from L. discursus a running about, in L.L. conversation, from pp. stem of discurrere run about, from dis apart (see DIS (Cf. dis )) + currere to run (see CURRENT …   Etymology dictionary

  • discourse — is pronounced with stress on the first syllable as a noun, and with stress on the second syllable as a verb …   Modern English usage

  • discourse — ► NOUN 1) written or spoken communication or debate. 2) a formal discussion of a topic in speech or writing. ► VERB 1) speak or write authoritatively about a topic. 2) engage in conversation. ORIGIN Latin discursus running to and fro , from… …   English terms dictionary

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