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Everyone does the thing where while speaking to someone you'll start inching away in order to end the conversation. Or you'll say something thats a conversation ender like "time to get back to work" or sometimes a joke with the right inflection does the trick.

Is there a word that means "trying to end a conversation" in this context?

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  • It's called "trying to end a conversation". Is there something about that phrase that doesn't fit your needs? Jan 14, 2015 at 17:03
  • Edited post to be more clear about what I'm asking. Jan 14, 2015 at 17:14
  • The longest 5/10/20 minutes of your life.
    – Hot Licks
    Jan 14, 2015 at 17:17
  • An escape attempt? Jan 14, 2015 at 17:22
  • You can use the expression: drop a conversation.
    – user66974
    Jan 14, 2015 at 18:18

5 Answers 5

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Break off a conversation

For example, see this how to

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I don't think you'll find a single word that means exactly what you're looking for.

You might call it "putting a polite end to the conversation", but the way you've already described it is how most people would describe it.

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Backing away from the speaker is one way of trying to close down the conversation.

If you actively interrupt the other person in such a way that it is clear you are trying to end the conversation, you could be said to be closing down the speaker.

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In the context of dating, if someone is attempting to end the conversation while on a date(usually because they're bored) you could say that the person is trying to find an exit strategy. I couldn't find a dictionary link/evidence/support but I have heard/read people talk about it enough times over the internet to post it as an answer. You could use google to confirm.

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What about "killing a conversation"?

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