Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of language
Meaning of language by Wiktionary Dictionary



    Middle English language, from Old French language, from Vulgar Latin *linguāticum, from Latin lingua ( “tongue, speech, language” ), from Old Latin *dingua ( “tongue” ), from Proto-Indo-European *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s ( “tongue, speech, language” ). Displaced native Middle English rearde, ȝerearde ( “language” ) ( from Old English reord ( “language, speech” ) ), Middle English londspreche, londspeche ( “language” ) ( from Old English *landsprǣċ ( “language, national tongue” ), Old English þēod and þēodisc ( “language” ) .


    • enPR: lăngʹgwĭj, IPA: /ˈlæŋɡwɪʤ/, X-SAMPA: /"l{NgwIdZ/


    language ( countable and uncountable; plural: languages )

    1. ( countable ) A form of communication using words either spoken or gestured with the hands and structured with grammar, often with a writing system .
      the English language
      sign language
    2. ( uncountable ) The ability to communicate using words .
      the gift of language
    3. ( countable or uncountable ) Nonverbal communication .
      body language
    4. ( computing, countable ) A computer language .
    5. ( uncountable ) The vocabulary and usage used in a particular specialist field .
      legal language
    6. ( uncountable ) The particular words used in speech or a passage of text .
      The language he used to talk to me was obscene .
      The language used in the law does not permit any other interpretation .
    7. ( uncountable ) Profanity.
      • 1978, James Carroll, Mortal Friends[2], ISBN 0440157897, page 500:
        "Where the hell is Horace?" ¶"There he is. He's coming. You shouldn't use language."
    8. Words, written or spoken, in a specific sequence that a person uses to describe, to a another person, the type of thoughts in their mind .

    Usage notes

    • Adjectives often applied to "language": spoken, written, abusive, foul, vulgar, coarse, offensive, obscene, explicit, insulting, modern, ancient, natural, artificial, constructed, formal, figurative, metaphorical, literal, national, international, technical, legal, political, scientific, mathematical, endangered, extinct, plain, clear, complex, simple .


    External links

    • Language on Wikipedia .


    language ( third-person singular simple present languages present participle languaging, simple past and past participle languaged )

    1. To communicate by language; to express in language .
      Others were languaged in such doubtful expressions that they have a double sense. — Fuller .


Explanation of language by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. the mental faculty or power of vocal communication

    2. language sets homo sapiens apart from all other animals
    3. the cognitive processes involved in producing and understanding linguistic communication

    4. he didn't have the language to express his feelings
    5. a systematic means of communicating by the use of sounds or conventional symbols

    6. he taught foreign languages
      the language introduced is standard throughout the text
      the speed with which a program can be executed depends on the language in which it is written
    7. a system of words used to name things in a particular discipline

    8. the language of sociology
    9. the text of a popular song or musical-comedy number

    10. the song uses colloquial language
    11. communication by word of mouth

    12. he uttered harsh language
      he recorded the spoken language of the streets

    Definition of language by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Language n. [OE. langage, F. langage, fr. L. lingua the tongue, hence speech, language; akin to E. tongue. See Tongue, cf. Lingual.]

      1. Any means of conveying or communicating ideas; specifically, human speech; the expression of ideas by the voice; sounds, expressive of thought, articulated by the organs of the throat and mouth.

      ☞ Language consists in the oral utterance of sounds which usage has made the representatives of ideas. When two or more persons customarily annex the same sounds to the same ideas, the expression of these sounds by one person communicates his ideas to another. This is the primary sense of language, the use of which is to communicate the thoughts of one person to another through the organs of hearing. Articulate sounds are represented to the eye by letters, marks, or characters, which form words.

      2. The expression of ideas by writing, or any other instrumentality.

      3. The forms of speech, or the methods of expressing ideas, peculiar to a particular nation.

      4. The characteristic mode of arranging words, peculiar to an individual speaker or writer; manner of expression; style.

      Others for language all their care express. Pope.

      5. The inarticulate sounds by which animals inferior to man express their feelings or their wants.

      6. The suggestion, by objects, actions, or conditions, of ideas associated therewith; as, “the language of flowers”.

      There was . . . language in their very gesture. Shak.

      7. The vocabulary and phraseology belonging to an art or department of knowledge; as, “medical language; the language of chemistry or theology.”

      8. A race, as distinguished by its speech. [R.]

      All the people, the nations, and the languages, fell down and worshiped the golden image. Dan. iii. 7.

      9. Any system of symbols created for the purpose of communicating ideas, emotions, commands, etc., between sentient agents.

      10. Specifically: ( computers ) Any set of symbols and the rules for combining them which are used to specify to a computer the actions that it is to take; also referred to as a computer lanugage or programming language; as, “JAVA is a new and flexible high-level language which has achieved popularity very rapidly”.

      ☞ Computer languages are classed a low-level if each instruction specifies only one operation of the computer, or high-level if each instruction may specify a complex combination of operations. Machine language and assembly language are low-level computer languages. FORTRAN, COBOL and C are high-level computer languages. Other computer languages, such as JAVA, allow even more complex combinations of low-level operations to be performed with a single command. Many programs, such as databases, are supplied with special languages adapted to manipulate the objects of concern for that specific program. These are also high-level languages.

      Language master, a teacher of languages. [Obs.]

      Syn. -- Speech; tongue; idiom; dialect; phraseology; diction; discourse; conversation; talk. -- Language, Speech, Tongue, Idiom, Dialect. Language is generic, denoting, in its most extended use, any mode of conveying ideas; speech is the language of articulate sounds; tongue is the Anglo-Saxon term for language, esp. for spoken language; as, the English tongue. Idiom denotes the forms of construction peculiar to a particular language; dialects are varieties of expression which spring up in different parts of a country among people speaking substantially the same language.

    2. Language, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Languaged ; p. pr. & vb. n. Languaging] To communicate by language; to express in language.

      Others were languaged in such doubtful expressions that they have a double sense. Fuller.