- 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 © 2016
- 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.
- 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; a Bantu language;
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.
- Computing[Computers.]a 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
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.