Dictionary.com

dialect

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

noun
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.
QUIZ
WILL YOU SAIL OR STUMBLE ON THESE GRAMMAR QUESTIONS?
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

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.

OTHER WORDS FROM dialect

sub·di·a·lect, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dialect in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for dialect

dialect
/ (ˈdaɪəˌlɛkt) /

noun
  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
FEEDBACK