Definition of communication

Communication is a fundamental aspect of human interaction, and is essential for building and maintaining relationships, conveying information, and achieving goals. However, the concept of communication can be difficult to define, as it encompasses a wide range of processes and behaviors. In this article, we will explore different definitions of communication and their implications.

Formal Definitions of Communication

  1. The Transmission Model: The transmission model of communication is one of the most basic definitions of communication. It views communication as a process of transmitting information from one person to another. According to this model, the sender encodes a message and sends it through a channel to the receiver, who then decodes the message. This model is often used in technical or mechanical contexts, such as in telecommunications or computer networks.
  2. The Action Model: The action model of communication views communication as a purposeful and intentional act. According to this model, communication is a process of creating shared meaning through the use of symbols, gestures, and other forms of language. This model emphasizes the role of the sender and receiver in communication and the importance of understanding the context and intent of the message.
  3. The Transactional Model: The transactional model of communication views communication as a continuous and dynamic process that involves the simultaneous transmission and receipt of messages. This model emphasizes the reciprocity and mutual influence of the sender and receiver in the communication process.

Informal Definitions of Communication

  1. Verbal communication: Verbal communication refers to the use of words and language to convey meaning. This can include speaking, writing, and listening. Verbal communication can be formal or informal, and can take place in a variety of settings, such as in face-to-face conversations, over the phone, or through written correspondence.
  2. Nonverbal communication: Nonverbal communication refers to the use of nonverbal cues, such as facial expressions, body language, and tone of voice, to convey meaning. Nonverbal communication can be just as important as verbal communication in conveying meaning and understanding, as it can convey emotions, attitudes, and other information that may be difficult to express verbally.
  3. Interpersonal communication: Interpersonal communication refers to the process of communicating with one or more other people. This can include face-to-face conversations, group discussions, and written correspondence. Interpersonal communication is essential for building and maintaining relationships, and can include verbal and nonverbal elements.
  4. Mass communication: Mass communication refers to the process of communicating with a large audience through various media platforms, such as television, radio, newspapers, and the internet. Mass communication can be used to convey information, entertain, and persuade people.


Communication is a complex and multifaceted concept that can be difficult to define. The formal definitions of communication, such as the transmission model, action model, and transactional model, provide a technical understanding of the communication process. Informal definitions, such as verbal communication, nonverbal communication, interpersonal communication, and mass communication, provide a more general understanding of the different ways in which people communicate. Understanding the various definitions of communication can help us to better understand the communication process and improve our communication skills.