Communication Definition



Probably out of anything we do, the ability to share information and ideas with each other is one of the things that makes us human and has helped us survive and thrive as a species.

In about 1384 the word communicacioun meaning imparting or the transmission of something. As with many English words, this word was adapted from the Latin word communicationem which means to make common to many, to share and/or to impart information and knowledge.

Communication and Communications (plural) are both nouns and have slightly different meanings depending on the context they are used.

1. Meaning of Communication:

One of the ways we use communication is to express the procedure or task of using words, sounds, pictures, or behaviors to express and share information. As well, we will express ideas thoughts and feelings to other people.

  • It is vital that parents of teenagers have good communication with their children.
  • Our project leader was blamed for the breakdown in communication and was reassigned to another project team.

2. Meaning of Communication:

Another way we use the word communication is to give or transmit a message to someone, usually in the form of a letter, email, text message, or telephone call.

  • The General received an important communication from the President to cease all operations.
  • I did not receive the communication you said you sent, please send any and all future communication through registered mail.

3. Meaning of Communications:

Today the word communication has expanded to include communications, which describes the ways of sending information to people and/or groups through the use of technology.

  • People 20 years ago never would have imagined how big the communications industry is today or how many jobs it provides for people.
  • The communications satellite went down last night because of sun flares.

4. Meaning of Communications:

Another way we use the word communications is to refer to the study of how information is shared and expressed to each other.

  • My friend works in communications and is very interested in the way children communicate with each other.
  • I started out studying Psychology, but then I switched to study communications as it was more specific area of interest for me.


Doug: Hey Tabatha, great to see you back at school again. What have you decided to study?

Tabatha: Hey Doug! Thanks. I have decided on studying communications. I really like the idea of understanding the way people and groups can interact with each other. How about you?

Doug: Very cool! Well, I decided on the IT area and specifically with a focus on electronic communications in space between satellites.

Tabatha: Great! Hey how is, your girlfriend?

Doug: We broke up, we just don’t have good communication with each other and see the world very differently.

Tabatha: Yeah, communication is essential to any good relationship. I know my husband and I have to really work hard on our communication.

Doug: Yes, I was not so good at picking up on her non-verbal communications which was part of the problem. I am a little daft when with that kind of communication.

Tabatha: Well, I just received a communication that my papers are ready to be picked up, catch up with you later!

Related Phrases & Phrasal Verbs:

Making known – we use this phrase in the context of communication, to describe when someone or a group of people are told something or informed.

  • Through the Communications Director, the company plans to make known the status of the current merger.

Throwaway – in the context of communication, we use this phrase to a casual expression or utterance that is made in an indirect or unnoticed way.

  • His throwaway comments were not taken seriously and considered not an official communication.

Choice of words – we use this phrase to express the idea that someone is careful in the way that they communicate their message or messages.

  • To communicate well, a person needs to choose their words carefully or it might cause a breakdown in communication.

Write-up – in the context of communication, we will use this phrase to express a complete and detail written explanation of something.

Turn of Phrase – we us this phrase to describe a way of expressing something in a unique way.

  • The politician was able to clearly use a turn of phrase to escape an awkward situation, and was still able to communicate his point.

Related idioms:

The skinny – in the context of communication, it means the essential and most important information, no more information than necessary.

  • Good communication, means just giving me the skinny!

What’s happening – this is an informal phrase used to request updated information from someone known.

  • Hey Jim, what’s happening! How’s communications array project?

What’s going down – in the context of communication, this is an informal phrase that is used to ask someone what is the current situation of an event or activity.

  • He Paula, what’s going down? How do you like working as the new Communications Manager?

The scoop – when used in the context of communication, we use this phrase to describe getting the latest and most up to date information on something.

  • Just give me the scoop, I have to get a communication out to the press very soon.

Yak – Yak is a word we use to describe when people are talking and sharing a lot of information that is not really important.

  • Sometimes people just like to Yak, during their communication at work.

Pillow talk – is used to describe communication between two people who are usually sharing intimate information with each other.

  • Having some pillow talk every night can be helpful to ensure there is no communications break down in a marriage.

Lowdown – this is a noun used in an informal way to ask for true facts and information about someone or something.

  • I don’t want any unnecessary communications, just give me the lowdown and then get back to work.

Synonyms for Communication:






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