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, from one fact or reason to another, and deriving a conclusion; an exercise or act of this power; reasoning; range of reasoning faculty. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Difficult, strange, and harsh to the discourses of natural reason. --South. [1913 Webster]

Sure he that made us with such large discourse, Looking before and after, gave us not That capability and godlike reason To fust in us unused. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. Conversation; talk. [1913 Webster]

In their discourses after supper. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Filling the head with variety of thoughts, and the mouth with copious discourse. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

3. The art and manner of speaking and conversing. [1913 Webster]

Of excellent breeding, admirable discourse. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. 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. [1913 Webster]

5. Dealing; transaction. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Good Captain Bessus, tell us the discourse Betwixt Tigranes and our king, and how We got the victory. --Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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 — 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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