[ dahy-uh-lekt ]
/ ˈdaɪ əˌlɛkt /
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See synonyms for: dialect / dialects on Thesaurus.com


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.



Are you aware how often people swap around “their,” “there,” and “they’re”? Prove you have more than a fair grasp over these commonly confused words.
Question 1 of 7
Which one of these commonly confused words can act as an adverb or a pronoun?

Origin of dialect

First recorded in 1545–55; from Latin dialectus, from Greek diálektos “discourse, language, dialect,” equivalent to dialég(esthai) “to converse” (dia- “through, between” + légein “to speak”) + -tos verbal adjective suffix; see origin at dia-

synonym study for dialect

2. See language.


sub·di·a·lect, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for dialect

British Dictionary definitions for dialect

/ (ˈdaɪəˌlɛkt) /


  1. 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
  2. a form of a language that is considered inferiorthe farmer spoke dialect and was despised by the merchants
  3. (as modifier)a dialect word

Derived forms of dialect

dialectal, adjective

Word Origin for dialect

C16: from Latin dialectus, from Greek dialektos speech, dialect, discourse, from dialegesthai to converse, from legein to talk, speak
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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