on speaking terms


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on speaking terms

Amicable or friendly with, though perhaps in a guarded or superficial capacity. (Often used in the negative to show that two people are estranged.) A: "You're friends with Jenny, aren't you?" B: "We're on speaking terms, but I wouldn't say we're friends." After that argument last night, I'm not on speaking terms with Stephanie.
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on speaking terms (with someone)

on friendly terms with someone. (Often with the negative.) I'm not on speaking terms with Mary. We had a serious disagreement. We're not on speaking terms.
See also: on, speaking, term

on speaking terms

1. Friendly enough to exchange superficial remarks, as in We're on speaking terms with the new neighbors.
2. Ready and willing to communicate, not alienated or estranged. For example, We are on speaking terms again after the quarrel. Both senses of this idiom commonly occur in the negative, as in Brett and his brother haven't been on speaking terms for years. The idiom was first recorded in 1786.
See also: on, speaking, term

on speaking terms

1. Friendly enough to exchange superficial remarks: We're on speaking terms with the new neighbors.
2. Ready and willing to communicate; not alienated or estranged.
See also: on, speaking, term