1. Loosely, an umbrella term for interaction between people from different cultural or subcultural backgrounds intended to lead to shared understandings of messages.
2. In discourses where cross-cultural communication refers to entire cultures (as in relation to collectivistic cultures, high-contact cultures, high-context cultures, individualistic cultures, low-contact cultures, low-context cultures, power distance), intercultural communication may be restricted to interpersonal communication between individuals from different cultures and intracultural communication to that between individuals with a shared cultural background.
3. A branch of communication studies concerned with this field.