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Related to chat: chat room


chat, name applied to several Old World perching birds, such as the wheatear (see thrush), the whinchat, and the stonechat, and to a common American warbler.
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A stony mineral material, occurring with mineral ore; very similar to chert.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


1. any Old World songbird of the subfamily Turdinae (thrushes, etc.) having a harsh chattering cry
2. any of various North American warblers, such as Icteria virens (yellow-breasted chat)
3. any of various Australian wrens (family Muscicapidae) of the genus Ephthianura and other genera


Archaic or dialect a catkin, esp a willow catkin
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(chat, messaging)
Any system that allows any number of logged-in users to have a typed, real-time, on-line conversation via a network.

The medium of chat is descended from talk, but the terms (and the media) have been distinct since at least the early 1990s. talk is prototypically for a small number of people, generally with no provision for channels. In chat systems, however, there are many channels in which any number of people can talk; and users may send private (one-to-one) messages.

Some early chat systems (in use 1998) include IRC, ICQ and Palace. More recent alternatives include MSN Messenger and Google Talk.

Chat systems have given rise to a distinctive style combining the immediacy of talking with all the precision (and verbosity) that written language entails. It is difficult to communicate inflection, though conventions have arisen to help with this.

The conventions of chat systems include special items of jargon, generally abbreviations meant to save typing, which are not used orally. E.g. BCNU, BBL, BTW, CUL, FWIW, FYA, FYI, IMHO, OT, OTT, TNX, WRT, WTF, WTH, <g>, <gr&d>, BBL, HHOK, NHOH, ROTFL, AFK, b4, TTFN, TTYL, OIC, re.

Much of the chat style is identical to (and probably derived from) Morse code jargon used by ham-radio amateurs since the 1920s, and there is, not surprisingly, some overlap with TDD jargon. Most of the jargon was in use in talk systems. Many of these expressions are also common in Usenet news and electronic mail and some have seeped into popular culture, as with emoticons.

The MUD community uses a mixture of emoticons, a few of the more natural of the old-style talk mode abbreviations, and some of the "social" list above. In general, though, MUDders express a preference for typing things out in full rather than using abbreviations; this may be due to the relative youth of the MUD cultures, which tend to include many touch typists. Abbreviations specific to MUDs include: FOAD, ppl (people), THX (thanks), UOK? (are you OK?).

Some BIFFisms (notably the variant spelling "d00d") and aspects of ASCIIbonics appear to be passing into wider use among some subgroups of MUDders and are already pandemic on chat systems in general.

See also hakspek.

Suck article "Screaming in a Vacuum".
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (


A text communication via keyboard in real time between two or more users on a local network (LAN) or over the Internet. Although the original use of the term was only for text, "chat" became popular for every two-way communication. Audio and voice evolved into "audio chat" and "voice chat." Videoconferencing and video calling became "video chat."

Live Chat for Support
Live text chat is a common website support system, allowing someone to be assisted by a company representative, who typically handles more than one site visitor at a time. Live chat is also called "live help" and "live support."

Chat, Texting and Instant Messaging
All three terms are used synonymously. Texting (SMS) is built into every cellphone and usage only requires the recipient's phone number. All other chat services use a computer or phone app. Some require establishing an account and creating a contact list (see text messaging and instant messaging).

Chatting Was Always Verbal
Before text chat became popular, "chatting on any phone" meant talking. See chat room, video chat and IRC.

A Website Live Chat
A live chat on a website is very helpful for potential customers such as this example on Although the young woman's headset might imply a voice call, this "Chat Live" session is text only.
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References in periodicals archive ?
WebRTC is at the core of video call and chats in the now updated omnichannel contact center software.
Jan Chillery added: "As well as networking, CHAT! is raising money for some amazing charitable causes in our area.
In the past, you would have to exit a group chat and find an individual contact in order to respond to them privately.
"By looking after some or all chats exactly as if based in their office, clients see immediate results in sales and service levels."
It felt strange to see a code being posted on the first day of the chat group, but as the years went by, I realized that, certain rules needed to be established.
And despite the taboo of exiting a group chat, a third of people admitted to still making the bold move.
Virgin Mobile has announced the launch of their new in-app customer support chat service which is designed to make it easier for customers to get the help they need.
To start a video chat, users will have to swipe right from the Instagram feed to go to their Direct inbox.
Viber Shouts is a new fun way for Viber users to share messages with colorful backgrounds in chat for important updates they want to make stand out from the rest.
Since then, SendBird powers chat for over 6,500 applications in 153 countries globally.