What is Communication? The Definition of Communication

A gentleman orders a coffee in a crowded cafe. The young woman in line behind him shoots a withering look at the rambunctious toddler tugging on her coat. From the radio blares an advertisement for a one-day sale at the mall. At a nearby table, a deaf couple signs to each other, while a teenager in the corner busily texts a friend on his cell phone. These situations all have one thing in common. They all involve communication.

Communication is the act of conveying information for the purpose of creating a shared understanding. It’s something that humans do every day. The word “communication” comes from the Latin “communis,” meaning “to share,” and includes verbal, non-verbal and electronic means of human interaction. Scholars who study communication analyze the development of communication skills in humans and theorize about how communication can be made more effective.

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Humans convey information through a variety of methods: speaking, telephones, email, blogs, TV, art, hand gestures, facial expressions, body language and even social contexts. Communication can occur instantaneously in closed, intimate settings or over great periods of time in large public forums, like the Internet. However, all forms of communication require the same basic elements: a speaker or sender of information, a message, and an audience or recipient. The sender and recipient must also share a common language or means of understanding each other for communication to be successful. As such, a study of communication often examines the development and structure of language, including the mathematical languages used in computer programming.

The act of communicating draws on several interpersonal and intrapersonal skills. These include speaking, listening, observing, questioning, processing, analyzing and evaluating. Recipients of a message must be able to identify the sender’s intent, take into account the message’s context, resolve any misunderstandings, accurately decode the information and decide how to act on it. Such skills are essential to learning, forming healthy relationships, creating a sense of community and achieving success in the workplace.

As a field of study, communication spans a broad, rich array of subjects, including sociology, psychology, philosophy, political science, linguistics, history, literature, criticism and rhetoric. Although much of the field’s subject matter is theoretical in nature, communication studies have proven applicable to business, film, theater, composition, advertising, education, foreign policy and computer science.

In today’s globalized, media-driven world, communication studies have become more relevant and exciting than ever. Web developers seek new, inventive ways to draw Internet users to their websites. Public policy writers debate society’s most pressing issues. Through linguistics, computer scientists are developing programming languages that may someday allow humans to interact directly with computers. Students who earn degrees in communication often hold highly influential positions as journalists, editors, university professors, public relations officers, marketing consultants, speech writers, filmmakers, motivational speakers and political campaign managers. To communicate is to shape the world.

Interested in studying communication? Learn more about the communication major here.

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49 Comments on What is Communication? The Definition of Communication

  1. Mass communication is a two way method. It involves the source and the receiver and there must be feedback to show that communication is successful.

    • That is right….! I got “communication” for home work and i am trying to find more about it can you give more specific definition! Please and thank you!

  2. Communication is the encoding, decoding and feedback of information through various media such as: radio, written letters, verbal or spoken, non verbal…….

  3. Communication is the process of using verbal and nonverbal cues to transact mutually understood meanings between two or more people within a particular context and environment.

      • communication is a field of information and mathematics that studies the technical process of information and the human process of human communication.

        According to Albert T Craig, “there is not a field that study that can be identified as communication theory”.

  4. Communication is the process of exachanging information,ideas,knowledge ect,through a medium,so that the information or idear or knowledge is understood by everyone concerned.

  5. You really make it seem so easy along with your presentation however
    I to find this topic to be actually something that I think I might by no means understand.
    It sort of feels too complicated and very large for me.
    I am having a look ahead in your next submit, I’ll try to get the cling of it!

  6. Communication is a bridge which peoples use to cross the river of mis-understanding between one and another regardless with their position, be it written, unwritten, verbal, jesters, symbols, etc.

  7. It the activity of senting effective messages from one person to another which have mutual understanding or meaning.

  8. Communication is the process of mutual sharing of information and emotion between a source and a receiver for mutual understanding.

  9. Communication is the exchange of information between two or more persons for the purpose of bringing about common understanding.

  10. communication is nothing but exchange of information,facts,emotions and opinions………..
    It can be done by 10 different ways.

    Regards, jenny.

  11. Never we forget or underestimate the relevance of language in communication. Those involved in communicating must understand each other’s language, otherwise there’s no communication at all, letall the skills and techniques be gathered. Language is powerful.

  12. Communication is the art of sharing information between the source and the receiver using either verbal or non~verbal means….
    Informatn is the sum of all the ideas,messages,opinons & facts meant to be expressed.
    Communication is also the sharing of information and bringing people together in understanding..

  13. Communication is a process of sending and receiving information…..

  14. communication is the process of changing informations or ideas from one place to another or one place to another.The communication can be done through verbally or non-verbally.

  15. communication is a beautiful course to pursue. in my own understanding it is the conveying of a clear message and receiving an uninterrupted feedback.

  16. Communication is the process of passing information by the sender to the receiver with the information been understood by the receiver. It is is a process were by organized activities is been unified, behavior is modifies, change is affected, information is made, procidious and goal is achieved.

  17. Communication is a means of passing an information signal from source (sender) to a recipient (receiver) in such a way that the message is understood.

  18. communication is everyday to day living that helps create relationships with the people around us it is not just verbal it can be sign language, body language and other ways.

  19. Communication is a process of exchanging information through certain verbal or non verbal means between two or more person for mutual understanding.

  20. Communication is a act or process of transferring knowledge or information from one plece to another with shearing understanding, It mean that from sender to resever, from teacher to their student, from leader to their people on yhe specific areas.

  21. Communication is a skill or act of one way or two way in which we can exchange our ideas, thoughts in between two particles .

  22. Communication is not a simple act of transferring the ideas or point of view ..It is a process of understanding the process and feelings of human beings.

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