Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A meeting for consultation or discussion.
  • n. An exchange of views.
  • n. A meeting of committees to settle differences between two legislative bodies.
  • n. An assembly of clerical or of clerical and lay members from a particular district in various Protestant churches.
  • n. Sports An association of teams.
  • n. The act of conferring, as of an academic degree.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A multilateral diplomatic negotiation.
  • n. A formalized event where scientists present their research results in speeches, workshops, posters or by other means.
  • n. An event organized by a for-profit or non-profit organization to discuss a pressing issue -- like a new product, market trend or government regulation -- with a range of speakers.
  • n. A group of sports teams that play each other on a regular basis.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of comparing two or more things together; comparison.
  • n. The act of consulting together formally; serious conversation or discussion; interchange of views.
  • n. A meeting for consultation, discussion, or an interchange of opinions.
  • n. A meeting of the two branches of a legislature, by their committees, to adjust between them.
  • n. A stated meeting of preachers and others, invested with authority to take cognizance of ecclesiastical matters.
  • n. A voluntary association of Congregational churches of a district; the district in which such churches are.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Comparison; examination of things by comparison.
  • n. The act of conferring or consulting together; a meeting for consultation, discussion, or instruction; an interview and comparison or interchange of opinions.
  • n. In British and American parliamentary usage, a species of negotiation between the two houses of Parliament or of Congress, conducted by managers appointed on both sides, for the purpose of reconciling differences.
  • n. Eccles.: The annual assembly of ministers of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in England, for transacting business of an ecclesiastical nature.
  • n. In the Meth. Epis. Ch. of America, the title of four judicatories: (i.) An assembly, called the general conference, which meets once every four years, is composed of ministerial and lay delegates from the annual conferences, and is presided over by a general superintendent.
  • n. (ii.) One of a number (now over 100) of assemblies, called annual conferences, which meet annually, take cognizance of ecclesiastical matters, collect statistics relating to the church, and have charge of benevolent contributions, current expenses, etc.
  • n. (iii.) An assembly of the itinerant and local preachers, the exhorters, the stewards of a district, and a class-leader and Sunday-school superintendent from each pastoral charge, called the district conference, meeting annually or semi-annually.
  • n. (iv.) An assembly, termed the quarterly conference, of all the itinerant and local preachers, exhorters. stewards, class-leaders, trustees of churches, and first superintendents of Sunday-schools, in a circuit or station, under the presidency of a presiding elder. It hears complaints and appeals, examines into the character of preachers, licenses ministers, tries those against whom charges are preferred, and makes appointments and removals.
  • n. In the Rom. Cath. Ch.: (i.) A voluntary local assembly of priests; a pastoral conference.
  • n. (ii.) An assembly of priests called by a college; a chapter conference.
  • n. In some Protestant churches, as the Congregational, a local assembly of representatives from several neighboring churches.
  • n. Discourse; talk; conversation.
  • n. A lecture.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a discussion among participants who have an agreed (serious) topic
  • n. a prearranged meeting for consultation or exchange of information or discussion (especially one with a formal agenda)
  • n. an association of sports teams that organizes matches for its members

Etymologies

Medieval Latin cōnferentia, from Latin cōnferēns, cōnferent-, present participle of cōnferre, to bring together; see confer.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

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