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noun assembly, colloquy, conclave, confabulation, consultation, consultation meeting, conversations, convocation, deliberation, dialogue, discussion, exchange, forum, gathering, interchange of opinions, interlocution, meeting, negotiation, negotiations, palaver, parlance, parley, premeditation, seminar, talks
See also: assemblage, assembly, caucus, collective bargaining, communication, company, confrontation, congregation, council, discourse, inquiry, interview, negotiation, panel, parlance, parley, session

CONFERENCE, practice, legislation. In practice, it is the meeting of the parties or their attorneys in a cause, for the purpose of endeavoring to settle the same.
     2. In legislation, when the senate and house of representatives cannot agree on a bill or resolution which it is desirable should be passed, committees are appointed by the two bodies respectively, who are called committees of conference, and whose duty it is, if possible, to -reconcile the differences between them.
     3. In the French law, this term is used to signify the similarity and comparison between two laws, or two systems of law; as the Roman and the common law. Encyclopedie, h.t.
     4. In diplomacy, conferences are verbal explanations between ministers of two nations at least, for the purpose of accelerating various difficulties and delays, necessarily attending written communications.

References in classic literature ?
I am even sorry that this evening I almost repulsed -- but there will be a conference to-morrow and we shall see.
He used it to the full during the Chicago Convention of 1907 and the Peace Conference at Portsmouth.
Thus ended a conference three hours long, at the end of which the Indians affirmed that they were not weary, and requested their visitors to come again.
He proposed the matter to some of the leaders, and urged that they should meet the Blackfeet chiefs in a grand pacific conference, offering to send two of his men to the enemy's camp with pipe, tobacco and flag of truce, to negotiate the proposed meeting.
And I said, 'Nay, sir, you can't do that, for Conference has forbid the women preaching, and she's given it up, all but talking to the people a bit in their houses.
An audience would be demanded of the governor-general, who would hold the conference with becoming state, seated in an elbow-chair, with the Indians ranged in semicircles before him, seated on the ground, and silently smoking their pipes.
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
A conference took place confined to the magnates sitting at the table.
He looked me over in my general effect of base mechanical, and asked me if I had given up the law; I had only to answer him I had, and our conference ended.
The whole conference lasted not more than an hour, during which time Daylight lived at the topmost of the highest peak of life that he had ever scaled.
The conference between the two men, so trifling in appearance, so terrible in its destined influence, not over Anne's future only, but over the future of Arnold and Blanche, was, to all practical purposes, a conference with closed doors.
I am telling you what is a pretty open secret when I tell you that there is a conference due to be held this week at some place or another on the continent-I don't know where, myself - which will have a very important bearing upon our future.

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