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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 ?
With hundreds of millions of active users, Skype is one of the most popular applications in the world, and we're excited that Private Conversations in Skype will allow more users to take advantage of Signal Protocol's strong encryption properties for secure communication," Signal's post read.
Econiq, the Crafted Conversation Intelligence Company, provides The Conversation Hub[R], a solution that simplifies and guides high-value complex frontline conversations.
In chapter 1, "Intercourses of Friendship: Gender, Conversation, and Social Performance," Larson defines written rules in conduct books that governed women's conversations and public conduct for women.
Retaining key elements of her 2009 Having Hard Conversations and adding insights mainly from its reception, Abrams offers advice on how to engage in conversations that are uncomfortable for one or more of the participants.
More often than not, opportunities are agreed upon by a client during a phone or in-person conversation.
Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith kicked off the keynote track with a one-on-one conversation with Republican Land Commissioner Nominee George P.
It is becoming more intriguing," the bench observed, while going through the records and the orders on interception of Radia's conversations.
Evidence is mounting that cellphone conversations are much more annoying than other types of overheard conversations or ambient noise.
We were interested in studying this topic since cell phone conversations are so pervasive and could impact bystanders to those conversations at work and in other settings of everyday life.
Conversation Builder is a registered trademark of Northwest Kinematics.
Dr MehlAEs study was small and doesnAEt prove a cause-and-effect relationship between the kind of conversations one has and oneAEs happiness.
Crucial Conversations offers detailed instructions on how to stay focused, how to speak persuasively and not abrasively, how to be a good listener during difficult dialogue, and how to turn these crucial conversations into action and results.
The following are appended: (1) Samples of conversation strategies lessons in recent EFL textbooks; (2) Touchstone 1 Conversation Strategy Lessons; (3) Students' observation checklist; (4) Students' consent form; (5) Center's Director consent form; (6) Conversations transcription conventions; (7) Conversations transcription conventions; (8) A coded conversation; and (9) Conversation strategies typology.
That's why we enjoy talking to our friends and think those conversations are better.