- a 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.
- communication by voice in the distinctively human manner, using arbitrary sounds in conventional ways with conventional meanings; speech.
- the system of linguistic signs or symbols considered in the abstract (opposed to speech).
- any 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.
- any 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.
- the means of communication used by animals: the language of birds.
- communication of meaning in any way; medium that is expressive, significant, etc.: the language of flowers; the language of art.
- linguistics; the study of language.
- the speech or phraseology peculiar to a class, profession, etc.; lexis; jargon.
- a particular manner of verbal expression: flowery language.
- choice of words or style of writing; diction: the language of poetry.
- 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.
- a nation or people considered in terms of their speech.
- Archaic. faculty or power of speech.
Origin of language
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for language
His first language was Russian, then he learned Swedish, but chooses to perform in monosyllabic broken English.The Cult of Yung Lean: ‘I’m Building An Anarchistic Society From the Ground Up’
January 4, 2015
We also have a language filled with distaste for the civilian “others.”A Veteran’s View: NYC Cold War Between Cops and City Hall
December 29, 2014
The language school did not focus on providing instruction but instead was a visa mill.ISIS, Boko Haram, and the Growing Role of Human Trafficking in 21st Century Terrorism
Louise I. Shelley
December 26, 2014
“Deck the Halls” was written back in the 16th century, when the English language was very different.The Most Confusing Christmas Music Lyrics Explained (VIDEO)
December 24, 2014
But truth be told, I never came close to mastering the language despite my excellent grades.Obama’s One Hand Clap With Castro
December 24, 2014
All who listened were deeply impressed by language so mysterious.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
It would be a solecism in language to say that any portion of these is not included in the whole.
Having grasped a principle, we phrase it in the language of our time.The Conquest of Fear
This is the language of passionate exaggeration, one might say.
The third act is "spoiled, by the characteristic Shakespearean language."
- 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 peoplethe French language
- any other systematic or nonsystematic means of communicating, such as gesture or animal soundsthe language of love
- the specialized vocabulary used by a particular groupmedical language
- a particular manner or style of verbal expressionyour language is disgusting
- computing See programming language
- speak the same language to communicate with understanding because of common background, values, etc
Word Origin and History for language
late 13c., langage "words, what is said, conversation, talk," from Old French langage (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *linguaticum, from Latin lingua "tongue," also "speech, language" (see lingual). The form with -u- developed in Anglo-French. Meaning "a language" is from c.1300, also used in Middle English of dialects:
Mercii, þat beeþ men of myddel Engelond[,] vnderstondeþ bettre þe side langages, norþerne and souþerne, þan norþerne and souþerne vnderstondeþ eiþer oþer. [John of Trevisa, translation of Bartholomew de Glanville's "De proprietatibus rerum," 1398]
In oþir inglis was it drawin, And turnid ic haue it til ur awin Language of the norþin lede, Þat can na noþir inglis rede. ["Cursor Mundi," early 14c.]
Language barrier attested from 1933.
- A system of objects or symbols, such as sounds or character sequences, that can be combined in various ways following a set of rules, especially to communicate thoughts, feelings, or instructions. See also machine language programming language.
- The set of patterns or structures produced by such a system.