1. Verbal expression in speech or writing: political discourse.
2. Verbal exchange or conversation: listened to their discourse on foreign policy.
3. A formal, lengthy treatment of a subject, either written or spoken.
4. Archaic The process or power of reasoning.
v. (dĭ-skôrs) dis·coursed, dis·cours·ing, dis·cours·es
1. To speak or write formally and at length. See Synonyms at speak.
2. To engage in conversation or discussion; converse: "The two men walked around the city and discoursed on its antiquities" (Michael Wood).
To narrate or discuss.
[Middle English discours, process of reasoning, from Medieval Latin discursus, from Latin, a running about, from past participle of discurrere, to run about : dis-, apart; see DIS- + currere, to run; see kers- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus