A chat is a casual conversation. The term has come to be associated mostly with online chat services or computer programs to access same, including telephone services (where the program is on a voice mail server).

Among computer users, 'chat' means especially multi-person "chat room" facilities. Today the most popular means of chatting online are instant messaging applications. Most of these support email communication and deferred delivery of messages. Some are also beginning to support voice mail.

See also: bluechat , chat room, instant messaging, irc, online chat.