What Does Chat About Something Mean?

To Chat About Something Meaning

Definition: To engage in informal conversation with someone.

The phrase to chat about something simply means to talk about something with someone. It is most commonly used to refer to informal conversations, usually between friends, acquaintances, or people who are familiar with each other. It may also be used to refer to an informal interview or an open online discussion.

Origin of To Chat about Something

Chatting with somethingThe word chat is a shortened version of the word chatter. Both words come from Middle English and were first used around the 15th century. Chatter in its modern form has a slightly different meaning from chat. If one is chattering about something, one may be rambling or talking rapidly.

To chat means simply to talk to someone about something in a relaxed or informal manner. It may be used to refer to verbal conversation or relaxed conversation on the Internet.

Examples of To Chat about Something

Define chat with someoneWhile this phrase is commonly used to refer to informal conversation between friends or people who know each other, it may not always be used in this context. If a news reporter tweets that she will be hosting a chat about health care at a certain time, this means she will be answering any questions or comments the public may have for her on the subject.

Similarly, if she announces that she will be joining NPR to chat about tax policy, this means she will be participating in an informal interview. A news reporter–or anyone online–may use the word chat rather than interview to seem more casual to her audience.

Of course, a chat implies an open discussion with outside participation. An interview is more restricted, usually a one-on-one setting, so these terms are interchangeable.

More Examples

  • Ms. Dominus joins to chat about gender; the way The Times covers the entire constellation of connected subjects; and also about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the role the presidential campaign has played in shaping our ideas about men and women. – NY Times
  • I’ll be hosting a chat about the book at noon Eastern time on Nov. 3 at washingtonpost.com/discussions. – The Washington Post (the article’s italics)

Summary

The English phrase to chat about something means to talk to someone in an informal setting. This may refer to verbal conversation, an informal interview, or online communication.