- Linguistics. a variety of a language that is distinguished from other varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially.
- a provincial, rural, or socially distinct variety of a language that differs from the standard language, especially when considered as substandard.
- a special variety of a language: The literary dialect is usually taken as the standard language.
- a language considered as one of a group that have a common ancestor: Persian, Latin, and English are Indo-European dialects.
- jargon or cant.
Origin of dialect
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dialect
He frequently slips into Neapolitan dialect so thick that is incomprehensible.The Costa Concordia’s Randy Reckless Captain Takes the Stand
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 2, 2014
Sicilian dialect is filled with Arabic words like mischinu (taken from the Arabic word miskin), which means a poor person.Refugees Head to Sicily in ‘Biblical Exodus’
Barbie Latza Nadeau
April 24, 2014
Dialect, for instance, was not his métier, so like a true devotee of the form he exploited his incompetence for laughs.Robert Pinsky: The Comedy of Seamus Heaney
October 1, 2013
“For me to learn any Romance or Germanic dialect, just put me in the environment, and it would come alive,” he said.Adventures with an Extreme Polyglot: Excerpt from 'Babel No More'
January 10, 2012
But it was in the dialect of the West African Fulani language and for weeks no translation was available.Dominique Strauss-Kahn Accuser’s Detained “Fiancé” Amara Tarawally Speaks
Christine Pelisek, Terry Greene Sterling, Christopher Dickey
July 13, 2011
No; nor is the dialect of speech: both are characteristic and national distinctions.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
Not only did his dialect differ from those about him, but his habits were not those of a woodsman.The Underdog
F. Hopkinson Smith
Phoebe in her earnestness forgot to keep within the limitations of their dialect.Good Indian
B. M. Bower
You know not how much you please me, that I can talk to you in this dialect.Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9)
He prided himself on being able to speak the broadest of the dialect.Heather and Snow
- a form of a language spoken in a particular geographical area or by members of a particular social class or occupational group, distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation
- a form of a language that is considered inferiorthe farmer spoke dialect and was despised by the merchants
- (as modifier)a dialect word
Word Origin and History for dialect
1570s, "form of speech of a region or group," from Middle French dialecte, from Latin dialectus "local language, way of speaking, conversation," from Greek dialektos "talk, conversation, speech;" also "the language of a country, dialect," from dialegesthai "converse with each other," from dia- "across, between" (see dia-) + legein "speak" (see lecture (n.)).