intercourse


intercourse
intercourse, commerce, traffic, dealings, communication, communion, conversation, converse, correspondence are comparable when meaning the connection established between persons or peoples through a medium that permits interchange (as of information, of opinions, of ideas, or of goods).
Intercourse usually means little more than this and requires a qualifying adjective to indicate the things interchanged or the medium permitting interchange
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business intercourse

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trade intercourse

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sexual intercourse

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social intercourse

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In ordinary use, when employed without qualification, intercourse means social intercourse or the normal interchange of such things as ideas, opinions, news, and civilities between one person or group and another with whom there are more or less intimate relations
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the truth was, he could not be happy for long without human intercourseCather

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the keen and animated intercourse with its exchange of disputable convictions— Repplier

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he welcomes extra-class intercourse with students and encourages them to think critically—G. H. White

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if nations are to cooperate, the first condition must be that they have social and political intercourse—E. B. White

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Commerce, which applies primarily to the interchange of goods by buying and selling (for this sense, see BUSINESS 3) also is used in the more general sense of intercourse
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commerce with the world has made him wiser— Macaulay

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I was less and less disposed to commerce with my kind, I who never was given to social functioning— Weygandty

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The word tends to be restricted in its application to intercourse, through the spirit or mind, that involves an interchange of ideas or influences without a necessary interchange of words
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Reestablish intellectual commerce among them in such a way as to enable them to get on with the attack against the common enemy—P. B. Rice

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how is poetry born in us? There is, I think, some commerce between the outer and an inner being— AE

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though it is occasionally used of sexual intercourse.
Traffic (see also BUSINESS 3) is used chiefly when such connotations derived from its commercial senses are to be suggested as the interchange of goods, especially of tangible or material goods, or a rapid passing to and from the persons or things concerned
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years and the traffic of the mind with men and books did not affect you in the least— Woolf

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the State can have no traffic or relation-ship with the Church considered as a purely spiritual society— Times Lit. Sup.

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Dealings usually implies a closer connection and one with more familiarity or less formality or one having for its object mutual or personal gain
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they suspected that he was having dealings with the enemy

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being a woman is a terribly difficult trade since it consists principally of dealings with men— Conrad

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if a kid gets her way, she has to take some advice. That is part of the unwritten code which governs the dealings between generations— Robertson Davies

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Traditionally communication is less general than any of the preceding terms because it implies intercourse based on an exchange of symbols and especially words
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there had been no communication with the island since the storm

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I can try to get to know Negroes here to establish communicationCollie

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communication is a process by which a person refers to something, either by pointing to it or using a symbol for it, in such a way as to lead another person to have a more or less similar experience of it. Communication, in this sense, presupposes frames of reference which are shared by the communicating persons, so that similar meanings are shared by them— Newcomb

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but communication suggests, as the preceding terms do not, mutuality and the shared background of experience that has given rise to a comprehensible set of symbols; it therefore is appropriately used of nonhuman interactions
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communication is a type of behavior between living creatures characterized by mutuality, rooted in biological heredity, and constituting one of the general manifestations of life— Révész

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or of the process or art of effectively interchanging symbols
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in order to develop and maintain that basic consensus of values, beliefs, and institutional behavior upon which its existence must rest . . . a society must maintain effective communication among its parts .... Indeed, the effectiveness of the communication process is a measure of the social integration of a society— Cottrell

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Lilly was not expert in communication, and did not try to draw Mr. Sprockett out although it would have been easyEthel Wilson

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or, in the plural, of the means by which spatially or temporally separated individuals or groups engage in such exchanges
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communications were disrupted by the storm

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there is ... no conclusive evidence that the organized life of any Romano-British town survived the severance of its communications in the troubles of the fifth century— Stenton

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the poor communications that exist in many factories between the front office and the men at the workbenches— Purtell

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Communion usually implies intercourse between those who are close in love or sympathy or in mutual understanding; it often suggests rather than implies spiritual intercourse or the absence of words
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the consummation of communion with God coincides with the final resolution of the sense of estrangement from Him— Inge

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Delia sat down beside her, and their clasped hands lay upon the coverlet. They did not say much . . . their communion had no need of words— Wharton

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most of the time my father was buried in his religious books, and my mother recognized it as her function to keep this communion undisturbed— Behrman

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Conversation has a use, chiefly in the phrase criminal conversation, in which it is equivalent to sexual intercourse, and converse has a poetic sense in which it approaches communion
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to hold fit converse with the spiritual world— Wordsworth

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spend in pure converse our eternal day— Rupert Brooke

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In general use, however, both terms usually imply free and often lively oral interchange of opinions, comments, or news between two or more persons; conversation often applies specifically to the act of interchanging opinions, ideas, and information in talk, and converse, to the ideas, gossip, and opinions involved in such conversation
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an important general . . . deep in converse with the wealthiest of all the astrologers of those war years— Han Suyin

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give a freedom to resolve difference by converse—Oppenheimer

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we had talk enough, but no conversation; there was nothing discussed— Johnson

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genuine conversation—by which I mean something distinguishable from disputation, lamentation, and joke telling— Krutch

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Correspondence implies intercourse through an interchange of letters
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there has been no letup in their correspondence for fifty years

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the business was conducted by correspondence

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • intercourse — [ ɛ̃tɛrkurs ] n. f. • 1839; mot angl. , de inter et course « cours » 1 ♦ Dr. mar. Droit réciproque d accès et de pratique de certains ports accordé mutuellement aux navires de deux nations. 2 ♦ Rare Ensemble des relations entre habitants de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Intercourse — In ter*course, n. [Formerly entercourse, OF. entrecours commerce, exchange, F. entrecours a reciprocal right on neighboring lands, L. intercursus a running between, fr. intercurrere to run between. See {Inter }, and {Course}.] 1. A commingling;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intercourse — The use of this word as short for sexual intercourse (first recorded in 1798 but not common before the 20c) has made it difficult to use it in its general meaning ‘communication or dealings between individuals, nations, etc.’, and a claim such as …   Modern English usage

  • intercourse — or sexual intercourse [in′tər kôrs΄] n. 1. [ME entercours < OFr entrecours < L intercursus: see INTER & COURSE] 2. munication or dealings between or among people, countries, etc.; interchange of products, services, ideas, feelings, etc. 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • intercourse — [n1] sexual act carnal knowledge, coition, coitus, copulation, fornication, intimacy, love making, relations, sex, sexual relations; concept 375 intercourse [n2] communication; business exchange association, commerce, communion, connection,… …   New thesaurus

  • intercourse — ► NOUN 1) communication or dealings between people. 2) sexual intercourse. ORIGIN Latin intercursus, from intercurrere intervene …   English terms dictionary

  • intercourse — index business (commerce), commerce, communication (discourse), contact (association), dealings …   Law dictionary

  • intercourse — (n.) mid 15c., communication to and fro, from O.Fr. entrecours exchange, commerce, from L.L. intercursus a running between, intervention, from intercursus, pp. of intercurrere to run between, from L. inter between (see INTER (Cf. inter )) +… …   Etymology dictionary

  • intercourse — noun 1 sex ADJECTIVE ▪ sexual ▪ heterosexual, homosexual ▪ anal, vaginal ▪ consensual, non consensual …   Collocations dictionary

  • intercourse — n. 1) to have intercourse with 2) anal; heterosexual; oral; sexual intercourse 3) social intercourse 4) intercourse among, between; with * * * [ ɪntəkɔːs] between heterosexual oral sexual intercourse with anal …   Combinatory dictionary