Sunday, January 01, 2006

Conversations of Miu Miu & Mason

1. The action of living or having one's being in a place or among persons. Also fig. of one's spiritual being. Obs.

a1340 HAMPOLE Psalter xviii. 1 Haly men at has aire conuersacioun in heuen. 1340 Ayenb. 241 ‘Oure conuersacioun’, he zay, ‘is ine heuene’, uor et body is ine e ere, e herte is ine heuen. c1440 Gesta Rom. li. 229 (Harl. M.S.) Where is his conuersacion but in the Empire of hevene? 1551 ROBINSON tr. More's Utop. II. (Arb.) 148 This same belefe of the present conuersation of their forefathers and auncetours among them. 1611 BIBLE Philem. iii. 20 For our conuersation [1881 R.V. citizenship] is in heauen. 1650 FULLER Pisgah III. iii. 322 They [fish] were improper for offerings, living in an element wherein men had no conversation. 1705 STANHOPE Paraphr. III. 409 Their Proneness to Idolatry, which a long Conversation in Egypt had disposed them to.

2. The action of consorting or having dealings with others; living together; commerce, intercourse, society, intimacy. Obs.

c1340 HAMPOLE Prose Tr. 25 And an othir tym he lefte e conuersacion of alle worldely men..and went into disserte vpon the hilles. 1490 CAXTON Eneydos x. 41 Dydo toke grete playsir in his conuersacyon. 1594 PARSONS Confer. Success. I. i. 6 That natural instinct which man hath to live in conversation. 1645 MILTON Colast. (1851) 354 Unfitnes and contrariety frustrates..all the good and peace of wedded conversation. 1727 A. HAMILTON New Acc. E. Ind. I. xxv. 320, I shunn'd their Conversation for the little Time I staid at Calecut. 1770 LANGHORNE Plutarch (1879) I. 152/1 In the course of long sieges there is usually some conversation with the enemy.

3. Sexual intercourse or intimacy.
criminal conversation (abbrev. to crim. con.): adultery.

c1511 1st Eng. Bk. Amer. (Arb.) p. xxvii, The men hath conuersacyon with the wymen, who that they ben or who they fyrst mete. 1594 SHAKES. Rich. III, III. v. 31 His Conuersation with Shores Wife. 1649 BP. HALL Cases Consc. IV. v. 445 After a conjugall conversation. 1697 POTTER Antiq. Greece IV. xii. (1715) 298. 1809 TOMLINS Law Dict. s.v. Adultery, The usual mode of punishing adulterers at present is by action of crim. con. (as it is commonly expressed), to recover damages.

4. fig. Occupation or engagement with things, in the way of business or study; the resulting condition of acquaintance or intimacy with a matter.

a1626 BACON (J.), Out of long experience in business and much conversation in books. 1679 DRYDEN Tr. & Cr. Ep. Ded., There is requir'd..a Conversation with those Authors..who have written with the fewest Faults in Prose and Verse. 1695 WOODWARD Nat. Hist. Earth IV. (1723) 194 By Experience and Conversation with these Bodyes, in any Place or Mine. 1702 Eng. Theophrast. 13 Some scholars, by their constant conversation with Antiquity..know perfectly the sense of the Learned dead. 1721 BRADLEY Wks. Nat. 59 Nor have I had Conversation enough as yet with the Sea to give so ample an Account as I hope to do.

5. Circle of acquaintance, company, society.
1620 SHELTON Quix. IV. xxvii. 210 You may know the Man by the Conversation he keeps. 1647 CLARENDON Hist. Reb. (1702) I. i, 40 His Domestick Conversation and dependents..were all known Papists. 1673 DRYDEN Marr. à la Mode I. i, A Gentleman, Sir, that understands the Grand mond so well, who has haunted the best Conversations. 1712 STEELE Spect. No. 429 That all Conversations in the World have indulged Human Infirmity in this Case.

6. Manner of conducting oneself in the world or in society; behaviour, mode or course of life. arch.

a1340 HAMPOLE Psalter ii. 12 Haldis goed lyf & fayre conuersacioun. 1447 O. BOKENHAM Seyntys (Roxb.) 12 In al hyr conversacyoun bothe pure and clene. 1552 Bk. Com. Prayer, Ordin. Pref., A man of vertuous conuersacion, and wythoute cryme. 1581 MARBECK Bk. of Notes 307 True pietie doth not consist in knowledge & talking, but in the action and conversation. 1611 BIBLE Ps. l. 23 To him that ordereth his conuersation aright. 1678 BUNYAN Pilgr. I. 117 Your Conversation gives this your Mouth-profession, the lye. a1761 LAW Comf. weary Pilgr. (1809) 25 The outward behaviour and visible conversation of Christ while dwelling among men. 1878 MORLEY Carlyle Crit. Misc. 193 The walk and conversation of any commonest person.

7. a. Interchange of thoughts and words; familiar discourse or talk.
1580 SIDNEY Arcadia (J.), She went to Pamela's chamber, meaning to joy her thoughts with the sweet conversation of her sister. 1609 TOURNEUR Fun. Poeme 47 In little time he made such benefit Of Conversation (the commerce of minds). 1647 CLARENDON Hist. Reb. I. (1843) 15/1 Calling the earl of assist them in their conversation, the prince then not speaking any Spanish. 1713 Guardian No. 24 The faculty of interchanging our thoughts with one another, or what we express by the word Conversation. 1752 JOHNSON Rambler No. 194 8 Eagerness to lead the conversation. 1783 in Boswell Mar., No, Sir..we had talk enough, but no conversation; there was nothing discussed. 1871 RUSKIN Munera P. Pref. (1880) 20, I used to sit silently listening to the conversation.
fig. 1851 RUSKIN Stones Ven. (1874) I. ii. 36 There are some [buildings] which are only for covert or defence, and from which we require no conversation [cf. pp. 35 and 208].

b. ‘A particular act of discoursing upon any subject’ (J.); a talk, colloquy.
1694 J. WRIGHT (title) Country Conversations; chiefly of the modern Comedies, of Drinking, etc. 1716-8 LADY M. W. MONTAGUE Lett. I. xviii. 57, I had the honour of a long conversation with him last night. 1824 LANDOR (title) Imaginary Conversations of Literary Men and Statesmen. 1875 JOWETT Plato (ed. 2) IV. 224 The conversation is said to have taken place when Theætetus was a youth.

c. to make conversation: to converse for the sake of conversing; to engage in small talk.

1921 R. HICHENS Spirit of Time v, He simply could not ‘make conversation’ to her.

8. A public conference, discussion, or debate.
1703 ROWE Fair Penit. Ded., Publick Conversations..where there is hardly such a thing as being merry, but at another's Expence. 1713 STEELE Guardian No. 9 18 At a publick conversation of some of the defenders of this Discourse of Freethinking, and others that differed from them.

9. An ‘At Home’; = CONVERSAZIONE 2. Obs.

1740 H. WALPOLE Corr. (1820) I. 71 Lady Pomfret has a charming conversation once a week. 1779 JOHNSON Let. to Mrs. Thrale 11 Oct., I have been invited twice to Mrs. Vesey's conversation. 1783 Ibid. 31 Dec., I never saw her, unless perhaps, without knowing her, at a conversation. 1787 SIR J. HAWKINS Life Johnson 389 It being at a tea-conversation he..went on rhyming thus.

10. (In full conversation piece.) A painting representing a group of figures, esp. members of a family, arranged as if in conversation in their customary surroundings. So conversation painting.
1712 STEELE Spect. No. 474 3 None should be admitted into this green Conversation-Piece, except he had broke his Collar-bone thrice. 1762-71 H. WALPOLE Vertue's Anecd. Paint. (1786) III. 77 He imitated the manner of Terburgh, a Dutch painter of conversations. 1795 Hull Advertiser 8 Aug. 2/2 Small portraits in oil, at one guinea..Conversation Pieces in proportion. 1854 SIR E. HEAD Kugler's Hdbk. Painting I. 289 note, Waagen calls Terburg ‘the creator of conversation-painting,’ meaning that particular branch of genre, which bears the same relation to historical painting on the one side, and to the buffooneries of Jan Steen on the other, that ‘genteel comedy’ bears respectively to tragedy and to farce. 1891 Bookman Oct. 29/2 ‘The Finances of the gods’ is a masterpiece..such an interiorone almost fancies Metsu painting a conversation-piece.

11. attrib. and Comb. conversation card, a card on which is printed or written a sentence (question or answer, etc.) for use in a game; conversation-chair, (a) a type of upright chair on which a person sits facing the back (see quot. 1793); (b) = TÊTE-À-TÊTE n. 2; conversation lozenge, a lozenge with an inscribed motto; conversation painting (see 10); conversation piece, (a) see 10; (b) a subject for conversation; something to talk about; (c) a piece of conversation; a dialogue; (d) (see quot. 1952); conversation stopper, a statement, remark, or the like so astonishing, embarrassing, etc., as to admit of no rejoinder; also conversation-stopping a., that dumbfounds, startling; conversation tube, a tube for enabling conversation to be carried on easily with deaf persons; a speaking-tube for communicating between different parts of a building.

1785 Daily Universal Register 1 Jan. 3/2 Sentimental, or Conversation Cards. 1794 Baltimore Daily Intelligencer 27 Sept. 3/3 A new and elegant Edition of the much admired Conversation Cards: Containing a variety of amusing, entertaining, and innocent Questions & Answers in the art of courtship. Each pack contains 64 cards. 1838 (title) Conversation Cards: a book for the amusement of evening parties. 1853 MRS. GASKELL Cranford viii. 152 Another square Pembroke table..on which there was a kaleidoscope, conversation-cards, puzzle-cards.
1793 SHERATON Cabinet-Maker & Upholsterer's Drawing-Book App. p. 16 The conversation chairs are used in library or drawing-rooms. The parties who converse with each other sit with their legs across the seat, and rest their arms on the top rail, and covered. 1861 Eng. Wom. Dom. Mag. III. 142 She..sat down upon the conversation-chair.
1755 T. AMORY Mem. (1769) II. 167 To furnish them with chat in their conversation hours.
1905 Eng. Dial. Dict. Suppl. s.v. conversation, Conversation-lozenge. 1908 FINDLATER Crossriggs vi, [To] confine my speech solely within the limits of the conversation lozenge. 1967 Guardian 9 May 16/5 Terry's of York marked their bicentenary yesterday by selling Victorian ‘conversation lozenges’... Conversation lozenges are stamped with a sentimental proposition: ‘Give me your heart’, ‘I want a wife’.
1784 R. BAGE Barham Downs II. 314 The contents of Lord Winterbottom's will, and his packet, I did intend for a conversation piece. 1936 Discovery Dec. 398/1 A biography..well leavened with conversation pieces. 1952 GRANVILLE Dict. Theatr. Terms 50 Conversation piece, a dialogue play or play other than one of action and excitement; e.g. the plays of George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde. 1958 J. K. GALBRAITH Affluent Soc. xvi. 176 Perhaps the bank rate..derived prestige from its position as a Victorian conversation piece. 1962 House & Garden June 96/3 Conversation-piece beakers..decorated with London characters.
1959 P. BULL I know Face ii. 41 ‘Do you do a lot of this kind of work?’ I asked. ‘Yeah,’ he said. ‘I was one of the apes in Tarzan.’ This was a real conversation-stopper. 1985 W. SHEED Frank & Maisie 223 ‘That's a synthetic a priori proposition,’ they would say; and to this day I don't know a better conversation-stopper.
1960 Spectator 15 July 112/3, I read two conversation-stopping headlines over other people's shoulders..‘Fidel Castro raped my teenage daughter’ and..‘Eating places without kitchens spring up’.
1824 L. M. HAWKINS Mem. I. 270 A man with great conversation-talents.
1890 Catal. Army & Navy Stores Mar. 580 Conversation Tubes..each 2s. 9d. to 10s. 6d.

¶12. = CONVERSION. [so also in OF. (see Godefroy).]

1382 WYCLIF Ecclus. xxxviii. 22 Ne forsothe ther is conuersacioun [1388 turning]. 1388 Acts xv. 3 Thei telden the conuersacioun of hethene men [Vulg. conversionem Gentium]. 1485 CAXTON Chas. Gt. 12 Hys merueyllous conuersacyon. 1535 COVERDALE Acts xv. 3 They..declared the Conuersacion of the Heythen. a1570 BECON Compar. Lord's Supp. & Mass (1844) 357 In the conversation of the bread.


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