WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
lan•guage /ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. 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.
  2. Linguistics[uncountable]
    • communication using a system of vocal sounds, written symbols, signs, or gestures:spoken language; sign language.
  3. Linguistics any set or system of special symbols, signs, sounds, or gestures used as a means of communicating:[uncountable]the language of mathematics.
  4. communication of thought, feeling, etc., without using words:[uncountable]body language.
  5. Linguistics[uncountable] the study of language;
  6. Linguistics a particular manner of verbal expression:[uncountable]flowery language.
  7. 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.
See -ling-.
WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
lan•guage  (langgwij),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. 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.
  2. Linguisticscommunication by voice in the distinctively human manner, using arbitrary sounds in conventional ways with conventional meanings;
  3. Linguisticsthe system of linguistic signs or symbols considered in the abstract (opposed to speech).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Linguistics, Zoologythe means of communication used by animals:the language of birds.
  7. Linguistics, communication of meaning in any way;
    medium that is expressive, significant, etc.:the language of flowers; the language of art.
  8. Linguisticslinguistics;
    the study of language.
  9. Linguisticsthe speech or phraseology peculiar to a class, profession, etc.;
  10. Linguisticsa particular manner of verbal expression:flowery language.
  11. Linguisticschoice of words or style of writing;
    diction:the language of poetry.
  12. 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.
  13. Linguisticsa nation or people considered in terms of their speech.
  14. 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.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

language /ˈlæŋɡwɪdʒ/ n
  1. a system for the expression of thoughts, feelings, etc, by the use of spoken sounds or conventional symbols
  2. the faculty for the use of such systems, which is a distinguishing characteristic of man as compared with other animals
  3. the language of a particular nation or people
  4. any other systematic or nonsystematic means of communicating, such as gesture or animal sounds: the language of love
  5. the specialized vocabulary used by a particular group: medical language
  6. a particular manner or style of verbal expression: your language is disgusting
  7. See programming language
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French langage, ultimately from Latin lingua tongue

'language' also found in these entries:
Collocations: [Arabic] is my [second, native, first] language, [good, poor] language skills, [study, practice] a [second, foreign] language, more...

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