discourse-n; 4 Senses

Sense Number 1: extended verbal structures

Commentary: DISCOURSE[+entity][+symbolic][+structure][+verbal][+expression][+extended][+written/+spoken]
NOTE: linguistic structures that are larger than a sentence or utterance
NOTE: refers to such structures, not the activity of creating them (Sense 2)

She is a linguist known for her work on discourse analysis.
Pronominal references can extend beyond a single sentence to a whole discourse.
John's linguistic model describes several hierarchical discourse units.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1

Sense Number 2: a conversation between people

Commentary: DISCOURSE[+activity][+communication][+verbal][+conversation]
NOTE: refers to the activity of conversing, implies more than one speaker.

The story is an imagined discourse between two people traveling through France.
Mary had a pleasant discourse with her neighbor while waiting for the bus.
To date there has been little apparent discourse in Washington on this issue.

WordNet 0.0 Sense Numbers: 2

Sense Number 3: a verbal presentation or analysis of a subject matter

Commentary: DISCOURSE[+activity][+communication][+verbal][+presentation][+analysis]
NOTE: refers to a presentation on a specific topic.
NOTE: implies one speaker/writer presenting, not a conversation between speakers (Sense 2)

Bob could not follow the technical discourse of encryption algorithms presented in the paper.
The minister's discourse last Sunday focused on the modern preoccupation with consumerism.
It's his collected philosophical discourses on consciousness, belief and certainty.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 2, 3

Sense Number 4: the class of entities included as part of the subject at hand

Commentary: Idiom: universe_of_discourse

Quantum theory lies outside the universe of discourse for today's lecture.
The universe of discourse for the debate will include taxes, foreign policy and health care.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1