- a system for the expression of thoughts, feelings, etc, by the use of spoken sounds or conventional symbols
- the faculty for the use of such systems, which is a distinguishing characteristic of man as compared with other animals
- the language of a particular nation or people
- any other systematic or nonsystematic means of communicating, such as gesture or animal sounds: the language of love
- the specialized vocabulary used by a particular group: medical language
- a particular manner or style of verbal expression: your language is disgusting
- See programming language
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- Linguistics[countable] a body of words, sounds, and the systems for their use common to a people of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition.
- communication using a system of vocal sounds, written symbols, signs, or gestures:spoken language; sign language.
- Linguistics any set or system of special symbols, signs, sounds, or gestures used as a means of communicating:[uncountable]the language of mathematics.
- communication of thought, feeling, etc., without using words:[uncountable]body language.
- Linguistics[uncountable] the study of language;
- Linguistics a particular manner of verbal expression:[uncountable]flowery language.
- Computing a set of symbols and syntactic rules for their combination and use, by means of which a computer can be given directions:[countable]a computer language like BASIC or FORTRAN.
- Linguisticsa body of words and the systems for their use common to a people who are of the same community or nation, the same geographical area, or the same cultural tradition:the two languages of Belgium; the French language;the Yiddish language.
- Linguisticscommunication by voice in the distinctively human manner, using arbitrary sounds in conventional ways with conventional meanings;
- Linguisticsthe system of linguistic signs or symbols considered in the abstract (opposed to speech).
- Linguisticsany set or system of such symbols as used in a more or less uniform fashion by a number of people, who are thus enabled to communicate intelligibly with one another.
- Linguisticsany system of formalized symbols, signs, sounds, gestures, or the like used or conceived as a means of communicating thought, emotion, etc.:the language of mathematics; sign language.
- Linguistics, Zoologythe means of communication used by animals:the language of birds.
- Linguistics, communication of meaning in any way;
medium that is expressive, significant, etc.:the language of flowers; the language of art.
the study of language.
- Linguisticsthe speech or phraseology peculiar to a class, profession, etc.;
- Linguisticsa particular manner of verbal expression:flowery language.
- Linguisticschoice of words or style of writing;
diction:the language of poetry.
- Computinga set of characters and symbols and syntactic rules for their combination and use, by means of which a computer can be given directions:The language of many commercial application programs is COBOL.
- Linguisticsa nation or people considered in terms of their speech.
- Linguistics[Archaic.]faculty or power of speech.
- Anglo-French, variant spelling, spelled of langage, derivative of langue tongue. See lingua, -age
- Middle English 1250–1300
- 2.See corresponding entry in Unabridged See speech.
- 4, 9.See corresponding entry in Unabridged tongue;
lingo, lingua franca. Language, dialect, jargon, vernacular refer to patterns of vocabulary, syntax, and usage characteristic of communities of various sizes and types. Language is applied to the general pattern of a people or race:the English language.Dialect is applied to certain forms or varieties of a language, often those that provincial communities or special groups retain (or develop) even after a standard has been established:Scottish dialect.A jargon is either an artificial pattern used by a particular (usually occupational) group within a community or a special pattern created for communication in business or trade between members of the groups speaking different languages:the jargon of the theater; the Chinook jargon.A vernacular is the authentic natural pattern of speech, now usually on the informal level, used by persons indigenous to a certain community, large or small.