Definition of confab in US English:



  • 1An informal private conversation or discussion.

    ‘they wandered off to the woods for a private confab’
    • ‘She whisked my dish away and then had a quick confab with three colleagues before returning it, confident it was the dish I'd ordered.’
    • ‘Nothing less than the truth, but it so alarmed Mrs G that she concluded I must be deeply disturbed and summoned my mother for a confab.’
    • ‘When Roberts was C-in-C he retired to his quarters after an inspection, only to be waited on by senior Indian officers, who wished ‘as private persons to have a confab with the War Lord’.’
    • ‘A brief confab and much to the dismay of the defence, Mr Crouch was pointing to the spot.’
    • ‘They might be the product of his confabs with the management luminaries of the European game at a forum in Geneva a week past on Friday.’
    • ‘They have already had a confab about Michel, who they swear is a likeable chap, and on condition of anonymity, one ref gave the communal verdict on the Slovakian.’
    • ‘The ‘barman’ had overcharged some chap for his round and they ended up having a 5 minute confab about it.’
    • ‘Regardless, Troy Rawhiti-Forbes is in a backstage confab with the other wrestlers.’
    • ‘Looking at Risk Control was Iain Cruickshank, another visitor from the capital, who was seen in confab with Dave Davey.’
    • ‘PM and all chief ministers were holding a confab.’
    • ‘The other night, however, Ben and Dr Spot were seen in deep confab in one of the darker corners, a sight which caused some conjecture.’
    • ‘Hence, he is darting between a demonstration of his new video-analysis equipment - donated by the ECB - and a confab with his physiotherapists.’
    • ‘Last week, the fellows, who over the years eliminated the politicians from their noontime confab, made a double change.’
    • ‘Across at the changing rooms more players buzz about like excited bees round a honey-pot, the hum of enthusiasm providing the backing track for the latest confab between the club chairman and management team, who are gathered outside.’
    • ‘Churchill's life hung by a thread as a bunch of irritated Boers held a five minute confab to decide whether they ought to shoot their prisoner, a war correspondent who had taken part in the fight.’
    • ‘For companies like Cott, the ceremony presents the opportunity for an all-day binge of TV, analyst confabs, and shrimp bowls.’
    discussion, talk, chat, gossip, tête-à-tête, heart-to-heart, head-to-head, exchange, dialogue, parley, consultation, conference
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    1. 1.1North American A meeting or conference of members of a particular group.
      ‘this year's annual American Booksellers Association confab’
      • ‘Alliances that frayed or hot products that take longer than expected to reach primetime linger on the minds of everyone who has been at a few of these confabs.’
      • ‘Not long after that famous ‘Axis of Evil’ 2002 address, I was sharing a moment with William Kristol at a transatlantic confab in Brussels (where I happen to be again).’
      • ‘If ever there was a time when confabs on the future of the entertainment biz are relevant, this is it.’
      • ‘At one of these confabs, I was obliged to tour the floor with my new boss, who wanted to show me how schmoozing the client should be done.’
      • ‘Get some fresh blood and stop having the same confab fifty times with the same tired people.’
      • ‘Argentina's previous experience with international art confabs was the series of Latin American exhibitions held in Cordoba in 1962, 1964 and 1966.’
      • ‘But all Wright does is repeat platitudes from his last confab at Brookings.’
      • ‘That, and the after party at the confab had to be smashing.’
      • ‘But I read a lot of liberal stuff and have attended more than a few college confabs with liberal speakers speaking on the subject of liberalism itself.’
      • ‘They hold endless meetings, planning sessions, conferences, and confabs in which they back pat and self-stroke themselves with awards, plaques, tributes and testimonials.’
      • ‘The grand prize winner got to attend both confabs.’
      • ‘Believing one of every 10 happy-talk words that the leaders utter about their confabs would seem to be the appropriate discount rate.’
      • ‘By the time the local confabs had concluded at the end of March, it was clear Earley was about to surpass the 4,813 delegate votes required for the nomination, with Hager about 900 behind.’
      • ‘In recent years, however, the confab has garnered attention not just from media but from those activists who feel the G8's policies are heavy handed and undemocratic.’
      • ‘But even that function is pretty meager, for only sparse audiences of curious spectators and hard core loyalists ever show up at their confabs.’
      • ‘A decades-long dispute over lumber isn't likely to be addressed during the brief confab - even if it is set amid the splendour of a Canadian pine forest.’
      • ‘One of the few firm goals set at the confab was that adequate sanitation should be supplied by 2015 to half of the 2.2 billion people now lacking it.’
      • ‘This was revealed at a media confab held on Nov.29 at its head office.’
      • ‘The journalists' confab featured discussions on diversity that included benchmark goals for racial and ethnic parity in newsrooms.’
      • ‘She convinced Continental's senior executives to take ownership of important agencies and corporations in assigned territories, and to join marketing staffers on sales calls and at the twice-yearly customer confabs.’
      meeting, negotiation, conference, talk, talks, discussion, conclave, consultation, deliberation, dialogue, parley, colloquy
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[no object]informal
  • Engage in informal private conversation.

    ‘Peter was confabbing with a curly-haired guy’
    • ‘Here's Dorothy confabbing with Miss Irene.’
    • ‘Yes folks, Pat Robertson has once again been confabbing with God and he has reported on the 700 Club that God has told him that Bush will win the 2004 election easily.’
    • ‘Maybe you could personally confab with him.’
    • ‘The first one, of the beautiful little girl, and the one of the "generals" confabbing are priceless.’
    • ‘Don't miss the part maybe two-thirds of the way through where the Enron guys come out to confab with Arnold before the recall process gets going.’
    • ‘Throughout the day, Laurie confabs with entertainment bigwigs, at times working outside, via cell phone, so she can deadhead her roses while juggling a long list of projects.’
    • ‘Enjoy your time confabbing.’


Early 18th century: abbreviation of confabulation (see confabulate).