“Interlocution between the three rulers was often taxing, as each ruler had his own strong point of view and preferred to voice his opinions rather than listen to the others.”

As used above, what is the best definition of interlocution?

Check your answer!

Choice A - Speech that is openly hostile
Choice B - Small talk or gossip between friends
Choice C - Self-dialogue or talking to yourself
Choice D - The general exchange of speech


Interlocution (noun) – conversation or “interchange” of speech; or, interruptive speech

Interlocutor (noun) – someone who (officially) participates in a conversation; or, one acting as a go-between or a middleman

GRE pro tips:

Interlocution and interlocutor are derived from the Latin inter, meaning “between,” and the Latin root loqu, meaning “to speak.” It is interesting to note that the words can take on slightly different meanings. Interlocution can refer to the general exchange (or interchange) of dialogue, or it can refer to speech that is interruptive: for instance, when one speaker comes in between two others who are having a conversation. The term “interlocutor” may refer to someone who simply participates in conversation; however, the term may also refer to a person or entity acting as a go-between, or a middle man, in conversation. So, it is possible for an interlocutor to interrupt the interlocution of others.

Example sentences:

“Interlocution between the party leaders may be difficult, especially in the wake of increasingly polarized political opinions.”

“The two countries once corresponded via an interlocutor but now communicate directly with one another.”