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[es-puh-rahn-toh, -ran-] /ˌɛs pəˈrɑn toʊ, -ˈræn-/
an artificial language invented in 1887 by L. L. Zamenhof (1859–1917), a Polish physician and philologist, and intended for international use. It is based on word roots common to the major European languages.
Origin of Esperanto
1890-95; orig. pseudonym of inventor; literally, the hoping one. See esperance
Related forms
Esperantism, noun
Esperantist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Esperanto
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The universal language of humanity is neither Volapuk, nor Esperanto, nor Ido.

    Second Sight

  • The only Esperanto was the old diplomatic language of suspicion and greed.

    Paris Vistas Helen Davenport Gibbons
  • True, individuals have invented Esperanto and other artificial languages.

  • Esperanto has no indefinite article for either singular or plural.

    A Complete Grammar of Esperanto Ivy Kellerman Reed
  • He flung what few phrases of Latin and Esperanto he had at them.

    Darkness and Dawn George Allan England
  • "I'd like a word with you," he said, speaking English rather than Esperanto.

    The Ambassador Samuel Kimball Merwin
British Dictionary definitions for Esperanto


an international artificial language based on words common to the chief European languages, invented in 1887
Derived Forms
Esperantist, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C19: literally: the one who hopes, pseudonym of Dr. L. L. Zamenhof, who invented it
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Esperanto

1892, from Doktoro Esperanto, whose name means in Esperanto, "one who hopes," pen name used on the title page of a book about the artificial would-be universal language published 1887 by its inventor, Lazarus Ludwig Zamenhof (1859-1917). Cf. Spanish esperanza "hope," from esperar, from Latin sperare (see speed (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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