Definition of chit-chat in English:



  • [mass noun] Inconsequential conversation.

    ‘it was a leisurely dinner with much chit-chat and laughter’
    • ‘In order to support her family, Annie uses her psychic powers to offer the people in her town ‘readings’ - sometimes this leads to friendly chit-chat, other times it leads to trouble.’
    • ‘The result is an evening packed with song and dance, recitation and good old fashioned chit-chat which draws a faithful throng, despite the weather and in spite of rapidly developing world events.’
    • ‘Melissa and her friends try to distract her from this by means of chit-chat and gossip, and there is already plenty of the latter.’
    • ‘Laughter filled the streets along with frequent chit-chat and bargains being made every few seconds.’
    • ‘Unusual but delightful, the Olympic-themed evening featured a mixture of music, comedy and delicious chit-chat from the two friendly and extremely talented BBCs - or British-born Cypriots.’
    • ‘During the break, Ms Flynn was left to awkwardly sit down beside the Taoiseach and exchange small talk - chit-chat, you might say.’
    • ‘This time around, the question line has been a bit more adult: instead of chit-chat about travel and hobbies, she has been talking about Maoritanga, love and land.’
    • ‘Just navigating the many clichés that often pop up and turn the conversation into a sludge of polite chit-chat and stock answers can be a pain.’
    • ‘This social climate offers everything from casual chit-chat and goofing around to very intimate, meaningful conversation (and, of course, cybersex).’
    • ‘Still, I carried on, unaware, with friendly chit-chat.’
    • ‘I presume it was the acoustic mix of ‘Insania’, but I didn't hang around to find out, preferring instead to loiter about the deserted cafe and eavesdrop on the celebrity chit-chat.’
    • ‘Lee, never one who can resist a couple of minutes of chit-chat, stopped for small talk and Marcus didn't notice Danielle until she came to stand beside him.’
    • ‘Their dinner party chit-chat concerned the humdrum topic of house prices.’
    • ‘At least one of our readers would prefer that The Sports Reporter and I dispense with the pre-review chit-chat and get down to the nitty-gritty when we write about our tandem dining-out experiences.’
    • ‘Dinner passed with idle chit-chat and no outbreaks of frustration from either Tara or Gareth.’
    • ‘I don't know exactly what's in it for them, other than a break from routine, but I admire their ability to make polite chit-chat - well, it's more of a shout-chat - with strangers.’
    • ‘I still didn't know what her game was but, if I was interpreting her signals right, this could turn into something more than idle chit-chat; it could turn into full contact chit-chat.’
    • ‘The obvious danger inherent in this procedure is causing the dinner table chit-chat.’
    • ‘Nothing much came of their conversation, just common chit-chat.’
    • ‘And good for him for getting an interview with the minister father who refused to talk that day, other than receiving line chit-chat, saying it was a day of worship.’
    small talk, chat, chatting, chatter, chitter-chatter, prattling, prattle, gossip, tittle-tattle, tattle
    nattering, chuntering
    View synonyms


[NO OBJECT]informal
  • Talk about trivial matters.

    ‘I can't stand around chit-chatting’
    • ‘I see them hanging out every morning together, chit-chatting.’
    • ‘After finishing the sorting of the papers and then chit-chatting while drinking their iced tea, they decided it was time for them to get back.’
    • ‘I'm not just talking about critical reviews or in-depth profiles, I'm talking about people chit-chatting at parties.’
    • ‘Already well-known as the son of a president, he focused on raising money and holding private chit-chats with donors and political supporters who would journey to Austin for off-the-record talks.’
    • ‘I was happily floating around to different groups all night, talking, chit-chatting, catching up with some old faces and taking silly pictures.’
    • ‘You get to know people in that time - although I don't like chit-chatting too much while I work.’
    • ‘The last thing this hotel will be is a wee B&B with a wee landlady who's forever chit-chatting to you.’
    • ‘Other co-workers and friends of his were either dancing, eating, chit-chatting, or gambling.’
    • ‘We played it infinitely cool - idly chit-chatting, pretending he was just like us, or we like him, or something.’
    • ‘He hung out with the audience often during breaks and chit-chatted.’
    • ‘Either way, he didn't feel like chit-chatting with them.’
    • ‘We chit-chatted about a lot of different things, and none of it was really important.’
    • ‘Step outside and people are chit-chatting about it everywhere.’
    • ‘Up until 10 o'clock, Audrey and I enjoyed sitting and watching the spectacles, drumming our fingers to the impeccable music, and chit-chatting about absolutely useless girl talk.’
    • ‘She stopped inside, chit-chatting with the Pilots, but not pressing the questions she wanted to ask.’
    • ‘I'm done chit-chatting now though, Tommy, so let's get to business.’
    • ‘Desiree, Cheska, and Tanz went back and forth between the kitchen and the back yard while chit-chatting about mindless topics.’
    • ‘I can see all of my classmates are chit-chatting with each other, but when I close the door, almost all of them stare at me or yell my name, and that includes Erick.’
    • ‘I was beginning to feel a little famished with all the smiling, dancing and chit-chatting, so I excused myself from my little group of friends to get myself some edible delicacies from the buffet table.’
    • ‘The other half of the class chit-chatted about the weather and waited for the inevitable re-write announcement.’


Late 17th century: reduplication of chat.