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conversation piece

Something unusual or interesting that becomes or is intended to become the topic of conversation when it is encountered by other people. Did you see Helen's new chair that's shaped like a giant red stiletto shoe? Yes, it's quite the conversation piece! Jane's new hairstyle became a conversation piece in the office because people couldn't believe she would cut her hair so short.
See also: conversation, piece

make conversation

To chat with someone simply for the sake of talking. I hate having to make conversation with the adults my parents invite to their dinner parties. A: "It's none of your business what I do for work." B: "I was just trying to make conversation, no need to be so sensitive!"
See also: conversation, make

strike up a conversation (with one)

To begin a speaking with one; to strike up a conversation with one. I just find it so hard to strike up a conversation with someone I don't know. They kept getting interrupted every time they tried striking up a conversation.
See also: conversation, strike, up

open a conversation (with one)

To begin a speaking with one; to strike up a conversation with one. I just find it so hard to open a conversation with someone I don't know. They kept getting interrupted every time they tried opening a conversation.
See also: conversation, open

open a conversation

to start a conversation. (See also strike up a conversation.) I tried to open a conversation with him, but he had nothing to say. She opened a conversation with an inquiry into my health, which got me talking about my favorite subject.
See also: conversation, open

strike up a conversation

to start a conversation (with someone). I struck up an interesting conversation with someone on the bus yesterday. It's easy to strike up a conversation with someone when you're traveling.
See also: conversation, strike, up

conversation piece

An unusual object that arouses comment or interest, as in That bust of Aunt Nettie is ugly but it's an excellent conversation piece. In the early 1700s this same term was used for a particular kind of painting that represented a group, often a family, arranged as though they were conversing with one another. Later in the century the term was extended to any object that stimulates conversation.
See also: conversation, piece

make conversation

Engage someone in talking purely for its own sake, make small talk, as in She had a real talent for making conversation with strangers. [c. 1920]
See also: conversation, make
References in periodicals archive ?
You cannot pick up a Private Conversation from a different device; you will have to repeat the process from the very beginning.
Every time we enter this kind of conversation, we experience the Trinity, and in the experience we enter the conversation and, we pray, like Mary, we will be able to add our 'yes' to the conversation.
Larson illuminates the extent to which women's conversation inhibited or liberated early modern women.
If you've lost your appreciation for the art of conversation, it's time to reopen that door.
Dan Balz, chief correspondent for The Washington Post, held a one-on-one conversation with U.
The National Conversation aims to build a consensus around those goals most important to people living in Wales, and how they envisage a future Wales for the next generations.
Not knowing where the conversation is heading is what makes cell phone calls more distracting", explains Rosa Vessal, a co-author on the study.
About The Conversation Project The Conversation Project, co-founded by Pulitzer Prize-winner Ellen Goodman and launched in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), is a public engagement campaign with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to have every person's end-of-life wishes expressed and respected.
The study, published in the journal Psychological Science, involved 79 college students u 32 men and 47 women u who agreed to wear an electronically activated recorder with a microphone on their lapel that recorded 30-second snippets of conversation every 12.
But when we fail a crucial conversation, every aspect of our lives can be affected--from our careers to our communities to our relationships and personal health.
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in the teaching of conversation strategies in the EFL classroom.
A new book explains how to rediscover the art of conversation so you'll never have to give someone the silent treatment again In a popular movie, that has no doubt become part of every girl's DVD collection, a journalist friend of 'Bridget Jones' advises that the golden rule to staying afloat in social situations is to simply introduce people with interesting details.
It was the appearance of Facebook on our computer screens that prompted me to think about the art of conversation.
If two or more people meet and one person records the conversation by use of a recording device on his person, federal law does not apply.
In this book, essayist Stephen Miller pursues a lifelong interest in conversation, discussing why good conversation matters and why it is in decline.