be (not) on speaking terms

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be (not) on speaking terms

To have an amicable, although perhaps guarded or superficial, relationship with someone. This phrase is often used in the negative to show that two people are estranged. It took a long time, but my ex-husband and I are finally on speaking terms these days. After that argument last night, I'm not on speaking terms with Stephanie. I don't know Kyle that well, but we're on speaking terms, and he seems nice enough.
See also: on, speaking, term

be on ˈspeaking terms (with somebody)


1 know somebody well enough to speak to them, perhaps somebody famous or important: He’s on speaking terms with a number of senior politicians.
2 (also be ˈspeaking (to somebody)) be talking to each other again after an argument: Tony and Craig had a big row and are not on speaking terms.You’re lucky I’m still speaking to you after what you did!
See also: on, speaking, term
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