lan|guage [ `læŋgwıdʒ ] noun ***
1. ) uncount the method of human communication using spoken or written words:
Linguistics is the study of language and how people use it.
language skills (=the ability to use a language, especially a foreign language, well): They have no money, no home, no food, and no language skills.
a ) the style or types of words used by a person or group:
slightly formal language
He was shocked at how crude their language was.
bad/foul language (=language that might offend people): My kids have started using the foul language they hear on television.
ordinary/plain language: In ordinary language, larceny means stealing or theft.
spoken language: a comparison between spoken and written language
strong language (=swearing): Mrs. Beeson did not normally use strong language, and certainly not in public.
b ) mind/watch your language to make sure you use words that will not offend people:
Just you watch your language, snarled Swain.
2. ) count the particular form of words and speech used by the people of a country, area, or social group:
There is a legacy of African languages in many parts of the Caribbean.
English and French are the official languages of Canada.
common language: Their only common language was English (=they all knew how to speak it).
speak a language: An announcer spoke a language Richard had never heard before.
3. ) count or uncount signs, symbols, sounds, and other methods of communicating information, feelings, or ideas:
the language of dance
the language of mathematics
a ) a system of instructions used to program a computer:
Which computer languages do you know?
speak/talk the same language
to have the same ideas and attitudes as someone else

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Language — language …   Dictionary of sociology

  • language — lan‧guage [ˈlæŋgwɪdʒ] noun 1. [countable, uncountable] a system of speaking and writing used by people in one country or area: • the French language • Do you speak any foreign languages? • Trading in Europe means communicating in more than one… …   Financial and business terms

  • language — 1 Language, dialect, tongue, speech, idiom are comparable when they denote a body or system of words and phrases used by a large community (as of a region) or by a people, a nation, or a group of nations. Language may be used as a general term… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Language — Lan guage, n. [OE. langage, F. langage, fr. L. lingua the tongue, hence speech, language; akin to E. tongue. See {Tongue}, cf. {Lingual}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Any means of conveying or communicating ideas; specifically, human speech; the expression …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • language — [laŋ′gwij] n. [ME < OFr langage < langue, tongue < L lingua, tongue, language, altered (by assoc. with lingere, to lick) < OL dingua < IE * dṇg̑hwa > OE tunge, TONGUE] 1. a) human speech b) Archaic the ability to communicate by… …   English World dictionary

  • language — I noun communication, composition, dialect, expression, faculty of speech, folk speech, form of expression, formulation, idiom, jargon, lingua, linguistics, means of communication, oral, oratio, parlance, phrasing, phraseology, rhetoric, sermo,… …   Law dictionary

  • language — late 13c., langage words, what is said, conversation, talk, from O.Fr. langage (12c.), from V.L. *linguaticum, from L. lingua tongue, also speech, language (see LINGUAL (Cf. lingual)). The form with u developed in Anglo French. Meaning a language …   Etymology dictionary

  • language — ► NOUN 1) the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way. 2) the system of communication used by a particular community or country. 3) the phraseology and… …   English terms dictionary

  • Language — Lan guage, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Languaged}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Languaging}.] To communicate by language; to express in language. [1913 Webster] Others were languaged in such doubtful expressions that they have a double sense. Fuller. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • language — language, philosophy of …   Philosophy dictionary

  • language — [n] system of words for communication accent, argot, articulation, brogue, cant, communication, conversation, dialect, diction, dictionary, discourse, doublespeak*, expression, gibberish, idiom, interchange, jargon, lexicon, lingua franca,… …   New thesaurus

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.