Definition of dialogue in US English:


(also dialog)


  • 1Conversation between two or more people as a feature of a book, play, or movie.

    ‘the book consisted of a series of dialogues’
    ‘passages of dialogue’
    • ‘What is delicious about this film is the witty clever dialogue that is distinctly Wilde.’
    • ‘However, the actors and direction are very impressive, and there's some snappy, witty dialogue.’
    • ‘He read all the books and I do mean all and could recite large passages of film dialogue by heart.’
    • ‘The episode is low on physical action, but high in snappy dialogue.’
    • ‘Watch it for the sharp and witty dialogue written by series creator Caron.’
    • ‘The film's dialogue is clear and distortion free.’
    • ‘The actors bounce around the stage, infusing the occasionally stilted dialogue with raw physicality.’
    • ‘We can understand French, but with films sometimes the dialogue is so fast that you miss something.’
    • ‘Sixth, the sound editing pumps up the volume for the bad music, but leaves crucial dialogue barely audible.’
    • ‘I was out buying popcorn while the opening credits of Dil Chahta Hai rolled, so I missed the name of the person who wrote the dialogues for this film.’
    • ‘On top of all this, there is some amazingly clunky dialogue that must be heard to be believed.’
    • ‘A series of ads for Borden dairy products featured dialogues between Elsie the cow and her blustering husband Elmer.’
    • ‘Winterbottom emphasises that although the dialogue in the film is improvised, every scenario was organised.’
    • ‘In particular, it is a film full of talk, and most especially a film of dialogues: two characters isolated, whether in an apartment, or during a party, or at a racecourse.’
    • ‘There is little dialogue in the film, but the visuals speak for themselves.’
    • ‘Though far from perfect, and full of impenetrable dialogues, the film nonetheless has a certain visceral urgency.’
    • ‘The dialogue in this film is as sharp as anything you will find on screen.’
    • ‘Does he seriously believe that films with fiery dialogues could motivate the public to react against all injustice happening in society?’
    • ‘The great thing about the dialogue in comic books is that you don't have to hear it spoken aloud.’
    • ‘There isn't much spoken out loud in the film, even though we retained nearly all the dialogue from the book.’
    conversation, talk, communication, interchange, discourse, argument
    script, text, screenplay, speech
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A discussion between two or more people or groups, especially one directed toward exploration of a particular subject or resolution of a problem.
      ‘the U.S. would enter into a direct dialogue with Vietnam’
      ‘interfaith dialogue’
      • ‘The border problem cannot be sorted out in one visit but meaningful dialogues have been initiated.’
      • ‘Foreign secretary level talks between India and Pakistan to resume the composite dialogue were concluded today.’
      • ‘We're not just wanting a dialogue with the government-we need the government to move towards us.’
      • ‘I never had a dialogue with them throughout this process, though our manager did.’
      • ‘The government, while it had opened a dialogue with his captors, could never be seen to negotiate with terrorists.’
      • ‘A clear and simplified mechanism will facilitate a closer dialogue between all parties involved in the running of the sport.’
      • ‘Without direct dialogue with students on this question, it is difficult to say.’
      • ‘Instead, you should see the opening-up of a dialogue with your boss as the chance to keep on negotiating.’
      • ‘What we want to do is continue the dialogue with fishermen.’
      • ‘The suggestions included promoting domestic political harmony and resuming constructive dialogue with China.’
      • ‘Women in Australia are also promoting inter-religious dialogue.’
      • ‘The teacher created an ongoing dialogue about universal issues such as friendship, empathy, kindness, and helpfulness.’
      • ‘In this situation, never has a dialogue among civilizations been more urgent.’
      • ‘He has promoted inter-religious dialogue by breaking new ground.’
      • ‘I mean, we set in place two levels of security dialogue between the two sides.’
      • ‘The overall effect of the changes described above has been to allow firms to re-enter a direct dialogue with each of their customers.’
      • ‘The United States has been urging both China and Taiwan to resume cross-strait dialogue.’
      • ‘Jakarta now needs to take the lead and continue the dialogue begun in Geneva to ensure a lasting peace.’
      • ‘If that relationship is to be rescued now, the government needs to set its dialogue with business on much more honest foundations.’
      • ‘In fact, the very existence of the disputes calls for closer policy dialogue between Japan and China.’
      discussion, exchange, debate, discourse, exchange of views, head-to-head, tête-à-tête, consultation, conference, parley, interview, question and answer session
      View synonyms


[no object]North American
  • 1Take part in a conversation or discussion to resolve a problem.

    ‘he stated that he wasn't going to dialogue with the guerrillas’
    • ‘Elizabethan theater audiences sat on stage and dialogued with the actors.’
    • ‘And so is the intrapersonal, insofar as we are dialoguing with our selves all the time.’
    • ‘But it's difficult to dialogue with someone whose ideology dismisses your equality.’
    • ‘Here I recorded my adult reflections, insights, and thoughts, dialogued with the young girl, listened to her complaints and her feelings as she struggled hard to emerge into my conscious life.’
    • ‘One day, I was dialoguing with her when she said to me, ‘Wait, I must assume another form in order to answer that question.’’
    • ‘So you could say I was dialoging with that part of myself, but it was just the work.’
    • ‘Too often companies neglect to inform and dialogue with their own people, especially in times of crisis.’
    • ‘Within the Council of Faculties, let's enable knowledge creation on this issue by joining together and dialoging as a community of learners.’
    • ‘As spiritual activists, we have a great deal to gain from dialoguing with each other.’
    • ‘I love the fact that we're two nonscholars dialoguing on a scholarly symposium.’
    • ‘Civil society means we have to be willing to dialogue with others with whom we disagree.’
    • ‘It seems he had tried to dialogue with his would-be kidnappers who shot him as he resisted their abduction attempt.’
    • ‘My intuition and my brain are telling me that tonight we need to keep dialoguing.’
    • ‘We continue to dialogue with local government, and we will continue to do so.’
    • ‘Who are the various constituent groups that we need to dialogue with about this?’
    • ‘Should the religious community be dialoguing with educational researchers?’
    • ‘Their participation will add a whole new dimension to our blog, the ability to dialogue on issues.’
    • ‘We want nationbuilders to dialogue fast and rely on force only as a last resort.’
    • ‘I will continue to dialogue with local government and encourage it to seek local solutions to local problems.’
    • ‘Armed with this information, patients may find it easier to dialogue with their doctors.’
    1. 1.1with object Provide (a movie or play) with a dialogue.
      • ‘The film is sparsely dialoged and the simplicity and razor sharp focus of Kiewslowski's very Christian fable about suffering, love and redemption makes Heavenhighly unusual but powerfully sweet in its simple lyricism.’
      • ‘The subsequent Greek tragedy is perceptively detailed, exhaustively dialogued, and incohesively patched together.’


  • dialogue of the deaf

    • A discussion in which each party is unresponsive to what the other says.

      • ‘Bombing people back to the stone age and carrying suicide bombs creates a dialog of the deaf where the only sounds that are heard are those of explosions; the moderates voices are lost in the ensuing noise.’
      • ‘It is, however, many years since the G7 fulfilled this role and its meetings are now dialogues of the deaf.’
      • ‘Socially, as well as physically, experts say, we are in danger of becoming a society in which dialogues of the deaf are not the exception, but the rule.’
      • ‘However, these were the dialogues of the deaf where both sides merely asserted and reasserted their respective positions.’
      • ‘The difficulties can be a matter of culture as much as personality - dialogues of the deaf are liable to occur when people don't take the time and trouble to get on to the same wavelength at the outset.’
      • ‘By the late 1930s, they began to act accordingly, thus contributing to a fascinating dialog of the deaf between purveyors and users of new technologies and techniques.’
      • ‘Cardoso and the intellectuals often seem to be talking past each other in a dialog of the deaf.’
      • ‘Failure on both sides to understand and appreciate these differences has led to a dialog of the deaf, with the opposing sides failing to understand the viewpoint of the other.’
      • ‘An attempt is made to find common premises for discussions which in the past have often proved to be mere dialogues of the deaf.’
      • ‘We are left with learned dialogues of the deaf, consisting solely of competing scholarly monologues in the present.’


Middle English: from Old French dialoge, via Latin from Greek dialogos, from dialegesthai ‘converse with’, from dia ‘through’ + legein ‘speak’.