All Words > Conversant

Wednesday, April 27

Conversant

[kən-VER-sənt]

Part of speech: adjective

Origin: Middle English, 13th century

1.

Familiar with or knowledgeable about something.

Examples of Conversant in a sentence

"Charlene was conversant with wines, so we let her choose the vintage."

"Video games have made some players surprisingly conversant with minute details of history."

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About Conversant

“Conversant” is related to the Latin word “converse,” meaning to live in a place and among people, or to associate with. In its earliest iteration, “conversant” referred to living consistently in one place. By the 15th century, “conversant” was coming to mean living or associating with something or someone. By the 17th century, it was common to use “conversant” with its modern meaning of being well-versed in a subject.

Did you Know?

Both “conversant” and “conversation” relate to the Latin root “converse,” which can be read in many different ways. Over the years, to “converse” has meant to live or associate with others, to have sexual intercourse, to make business deals and trade in goods, to hold inward communion with, and to engage in conversation. “Conversant” refers less to the conversational aspects of its root word and more to the idea of proximity. One who is conversant with a subject is someone who has lived close to it for a long time and knows it intimately.

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