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?

  • 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


Break off a conversation

For example, see this how to


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.


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.


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.


What about "killing a conversation"?

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